Together, Pacific can fight heart disease

This February is the Heart Foundation’s Big Heart Appeal. Thousands of people all over New Zealand will join together in the fight against heart disease.

Fight heart disease together

So what does this mean for Pacific people?

Our Pacific community faces heart disease every day. With so many Pacific people living with heart disease, we’re coming together with our family and communities to join the fight.

We know too well the power a community can have. Think about your family, your friends and your church. Think about the good changes they’ve made to your life and the help they give you.

So what happens when a member of our family suddenly leaves us? The whole community is affected.

What happens to family members left behind?

The people left behind

We can’t ignore the Pacific health statistics. For Pacific people, heart disease is happening at an earlier age. One in three Pacific deaths from heart disease happens between the ages of 35-65. That’s compared to one in fourteen for non-Pacific.

When our people die young, we leave behind families who aren’t ready to deal with the loss.

Imagine if you were gone tomorrow, how would the people you left behind cope? Suddenly, your family members find their whole life has changed.

Partners no longer have the support of their wife or husband. Not only do they have to deal with grief, but they must look after their family alone. From taking the kids to school, to food shopping and paying bills – life is harder.

Children lose a parent to watch them play sports, share their days with and help them through life. When they grow up, their own children lose a grandparent to take them to the park and tell them stories.

Family celebrations aren’t the same anymore with a space around the table at Christmas and birthdays.

Don't let heart disease take what you love

Together, we can change this

While the statistics show a dark picture, we can change our story together as a community.

The small changes we make in our lives will make a big difference to our hearts. A little exercise every day, getting rid of the takeaway and eating fruit and veg instead. Getting plenty of sleep and quitting smoking. It’s easy as – so why aren’t we doing it?

These little changes lower the risk of heart disease. That means we can live longer. Giving us more time with our loved ones.

What do you love about life?

Is it BBQs in summer with friends? Family days out at the beach? Celebrating special occasions with your favourite people? Hearing your kids laughing? Waking up next to your partner every day?

Whatever it may be, heart disease can take it all away. Join us in the fight against heart disease by making healthy changes in your own life. 

Tips for a healthy mind, body and spirit