« If I have questions or a health problem, I know that I will be quickly supported by a team of experts. »
The Montreal Heart Institute is synonymous with peace of mind and absolute trust for Justine. She had surgery at another centre at the age of four due to a heart murmur and an atrial septal defect (ASD), and has been closely monitored by a cardiologist at the Montreal Heart Institute since she was 18 years old. If she has questions or a health problem, she knows that she will be quickly supported by a team of experts. As a participant in the Institute’s Biobank project, she is now undergoing tests that will explore the link between genetics and her heart condition. This will help her better understand her illness, and allow her to take part in research to determine if her condition is hereditary.
Justine is a proud member of the Emerging Leaders Committee of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation, where she has been able to meet other generous young philanthropists and raise awareness among her community about the risks of cardiovascular disease.
« It is important to raise awareness among young people as early as possible, so they can understand the importance of allying themselves with a cause and supporting it in their own way »
Marc-André lost his father to cardiovascular disease in 2011. Afterwards, he did some research and discovered the Montreal Heart Institute. He decided to get involved in the cause, first by volunteering one half-day a week, then later, by joining the Foundation’s Emerging Leaders Committee.
Although the causes of heart disease are often unknown, Marc-André believes that cardiovascular health is of the utmost importance because, in one way or another, heart disease affects us all, young and old. By getting involved, he hopes to help earn the Institute the attention it deserves, particularly with regards to its cutting-edge research and ultra specialized care.
According to Marc-André, you don’t become a philanthropist overnight. It’s a way of having an impact on society that needs to grow and take shape over time. That’s why it’s so important to raise awareness among young people as early as possible, so they can understand the importance of allying themselves with a cause and supporting it in their own way. For him, philanthropy is much more than a way of giving to a foundation, and because of that, his actions are making all the difference.
« I am extremely careful to maintain healthy habits that include eating well and staying active. »
Guillaume was always very active. Believing himself to be in perfect health, he downhill skied, cycled and played hockey regularly. He never had any indication that, from one day to the next, his heart would fail. In 2011 he showed up in the ER after losing consciousness, and concerned that his energy level had dropped considerably. After extensive testing, he received the diagnosis: Guillaume had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic defect that affects the heart’s cell structure. His heart was only 7% functional. When his situation became critical, he was transferred to the Montreal Heart Institute where he received a heart transplant.
Since the surgery, his lifestyle has completely changed. Today, he’s extremely careful to maintain healthy habits that include eating well and staying active. He’s also gotten involved with the Emerging Leaders Committee of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation, where funds raised will support the cardiovascular health of tens of thousands of patients.
« Because of the peerless care she receives from the Institute, getting involved with the Foundation seemed like a perfect fit. »
Marie-Laurence is treated at the Montreal Heart Institute for congenital heart disease, a heart defect that is present from birth. At the Institute, she underwent genetic testing, then worked with her cardiologist to put together a treatment plan that allows her to live a normal life, in spite of her condition.
As a young professional, she’s constantly looking for ways to get involved and take advantage of her network of contacts. Because of the peerless care she receives from the Institute, getting involved with the Foundation seemed like a perfect fit. As a member of the Emerging Leaders Committee of the Montreal Heart Institute, she is constantly finding ever more creative ways to convince people to give to the cause.
If you ask her, there’s no miracle solution to advance cardiovascular medicine. Giving is one of the most concrete ways to allow the Institute to continue providing ultra-specialized care to patients who, like her, suffer from heart disease. To create as much awareness as possible, she’s very open about her experience, and always tries to share new discoveries and advances the Institute has made in the field of cardiology with her network.
« I am particularly proud to be treated by one of the top three cardiology centres in the world. »
A patient of the Montreal Heart Institute since he was 18, Pierre-Marc had a defibrillator implanted last July. Having undergone open heart surgery at age three due to an atrial septal defect (ASD), in May 2018 he noticed that he was no longer able to play sports at the same level, and he was finding himself more and more short of breath. He also noticed a worrying arrhythmia. In June, an urgent trip to the Institute uncovered a weakness his heart related to arrhythmia, as well as ventricular desynchronization. Finally, after two cardiac ablation procedures, he had a defibrillator implanted in his chest. His recovery was quick: a few months later, he even went back to working out.
Pierre-Marc always believed that the Institute had very advanced cardiac expertise. Whenever he went, he felt that his heart was in good hands. He is now more certain than ever that the Institute’s passionate medical team is perfectly equipped to support his cardiovascular health. He is particularly proud to be treated by one of the top three cardiology centres in the world.
« Developing the reflex to give back to the community as early as possible is very important to me. »
Olivier Rénald is a young professional with philanthropy at heart. After a close friend underwent surgery at age 18 at the Montreal Heart Institute, he took up the cause of cardiovascular disease and is now involved with our foundation. His goal is to share a message with young people. According to him, it’s essential that they understand how lucky they are to be able to give to a cause that speaks to them and reflects their values. They can have a direct and real impact in their community, and no one should wait to be personally affected by a cause before getting involved and giving back.
“Developing the reflex to give back to the community as early as possible is very important to me.”
The Emerging Leaders Committee, where he volunteers his time, organizes an annual event called HeartBeat, which will be held in the fall. This networking event strikes the perfect balance between being a fun, entertaining night out for young professionals, and a platform to share a philanthropic message.
« By sharing my experience, I hope to educate and raise awareness among as many people as possible about heart-related health issues. »
After a heart attack tragically cut her father’s life short, Kimberly quickly felt the need to give back.
By sharing her experience, she hopes to educate and raise awareness among as many people as possible about heart-related health issues. Over the course of many conversations, she’s come to the conclusion that heart disease touches most of us in one way or another. Having been involved in various committees while she was a student, she decided to get more concretely involved in the cause of cardiovascular health by joining the Emerging Leaders Committee of the Montreal Heart Institute. Surrounded by other young professionals, she is working to raise funds to support priority projects at the Institute.
Through her involvement, she hopes more than anything to reach young people, who she believes could benefit enormously from greater awareness of cardiovascular health. Using digital platforms, including social media, she hopes to find creative ways to reach her peers and educate them about the importance of prevention, and encourage them to come together for the cause by making donations.
« I am thankful that today, life feels normal again, albeit with some limitations. »
Louis-Philippe underwent two surgeries at a very young age; first when he was only ten days old for a ventricular septal defect (VSD), then again at age seven for aortic coarctation. Despite his condition and his surgeries, he’s always been active, playing sports and nurturing a passion for music. When he was twenty, on his way to work, he suddenly felt profoundly unwell and passed out. He woke up in the hospital, where it was confirmed that he’d had a stroke, and was paralyzed on the right side. The university student was forced to go back to basics, learning to write with his left hand, able to see out of only one eye and dealing with recurrent memory loss. Thanks to sports and music, the ever-present support of his friends and family, and the excellent care provided by the Montreal Heart Institute, he is thankful that today, life feels normal again, albeit with some limitations. His progress has been astonishing.
Louis-Philippe supports the cause of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation because he hopes to raise awareness and encourage people to give generously, and make a difference in young patients’ lives.
« Without the rapid action and undeniable skill of the entire team at the Institute, things could have turned out very differently. »
In the spring of 2003, Stéphane began to experience some unpleasant cardiac symptoms. Then one morning in May, he fainted in the shower. He went immediately to the Montreal Heart Institute. After a revealing electrocardiogram, he was immediately admitted for further testing.
After two full weeks at the Institute, his physicians pronounced that he had a congenital condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The medical team was in agreement that a cardiac defibrillator should be implanted, in order to protect him from major heart failure or even sudden death. When he left the hospital, his physician reassured him that he could resume his normal life. Stéphane took his advice, and went on to run a half, then a full marathon, in addition to leading a very active lifestyle. Without the rapid action and undeniable skill of the entire team at the Institute, things could have turned out very differently. For Stéphane, the Montreal Heart Institute is, and always will be, close to his heart!
Louis A Tanguay
« Making a planned gift to the Foundation means stretching your impact to the wellness caregivers and patients alike. »