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Call for volunteers to help fight New Zealand’s single biggest killer

With one in five Kiwis dying from heart disease, the Heart Foundation is calling for people to join with it and help tackle the sobering health statistic, by volunteering as a street collector for its Big Heart Appeal 2019.

Heart Foundation Medical Director Gerry Devlin says every year around 6,000 New Zealanders die of heart disease.

“It’s staggering to think that the number of deaths is almost the size of the entire population of the Otaki township in the North Island.”

Gerry says while the time commitment involved as a volunteer for a few hours on one day is small, the reward is huge and will play a vital role in the fight against New Zealand’s single biggest killer, heart disease.

Street collections will take place on Friday 22 February and Saturday 23 February 2019.

“We are calling on volunteers around the country to give just a few hours of their time to help collect funds to support our vital research and work in the community,” Gerry says.

“Since the Heart Foundation was founded 50 years ago, we’ve seen a phenomenal reduction in death from heart disease but there’s still a lot that needs to be done. Not only does heart disease remain our single biggest killer but we have more people living with heart disease than ever before all around New Zealand.

“While the Heart Foundation is committed to tackling heart disease in New Zealand, we can’t do it alone. Our volunteers around the country make a huge difference in our ability to help.”

He says funds raised during the Heart Foundation’s annual appeal are used to support heart-related research and specialist training for cardiologists.

The Heart Foundation is New Zealand’s leading independent funder of heart research. Since 1968, it has funded more than $70 million in research and specialist training.

“We also perform a wide range of activities to help support people living with heart disease and their families, and provide educational programmes and campaigns that promote heart-healthy living.”

The Heart Foundation needs volunteers in all regions.

Big Heart Appeal street collection is on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 February 2019. 

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