Put your money where your heart is
When you donate money to an organisation, you actively facilitate big and important change. Thanks to its donors, the Heart Foundation has funded research into some of the most innovative developments in cardiovascular disease health.
Raffoul can list them off with pride: “Things like the pacemaker were initially funded through some of the Heart Foundation’s research. Cardiac rehabilitation – that works to support people after a cardiovascular event – was due to our advocacy and lobbying.”
Some of the biggest clinical trials in blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering medicines, Raffoul says, which are now standard care for people after a heart event or in the lead-up to a heart event, were funded by the Heart Foundation too.
Looking forward, donations continue to make seismic changes in the field of heart health today.
“Most recently, we’ve saved the Medicare Heart Health check that was due for expiry in May,” Raffoul says. “And we’ve launched Australia’s largest targeted screening program for heart disease, impacting over 42,000 at-risk Australians across the country.”
The list continues. “We’re not just thinking about what we’re going to use a donor’s dollar for right now but also how this could impact our population 25 years down the track or even beyond that,” Raffoul says.
Have hard conversations – loudly
If you’re passionate about a cause, start telling people about it. Lobbying your local, state or federal government can be as small, and as impactful, as writing a well-worded letter.
It can also look like having a serious conversation with friends and family or sharing important information on your social media. When it comes to an issue like heart disease, which is the leading cause of death among Australians, the importance of awareness can’t be overstated.
“If you’re experiencing the warning signs of a heart attack, it’s far too late,” Raffoul warns. “That blockage in your arteries, it’s there already. And so, acting earlier, decades earlier than that, to get your regular checkups – particularly from the age of 45 having a formal Heart Health Check with your GP – can be the most important thing you do for your heart health.”
Offer your time and expertise
They say time is money for a reason. If you don’t have the means to donate, showing up can help just as much.
“We do absolutely appreciate donations, but we also have a lot of volunteers,” Raffoul says. “We have people getting involved in our programs to support our fundraising efforts as well and we’re so grateful for that contribution.”
Community fundraising, where you commit to a physical challenge or event and raise money for a cause, is another great way to use your time and muscle. But Raffoul says it best: “Really, any way that you can support us, we will appreciate.”
How you choose to help others is up to you. But as the science says, it’s something you want to do, whether you realise it yet or not.
Join us. Be the heartbeat of progress. Donate today.
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