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Let the games begin: gaming fundraiser for Big Heart Appeal

The Heart Foundation is teaming up with New Zealand’s biggest esports broadcaster in a 90-minute live gaming livestream.

Duane Mutu

The show, which will be broadcast live on, is in support of the Heart Foundation's annual Big Heart Appeal which aims to raise funds to support life-saving research.

The gamers include David Seymour, Leader of ACT New Zealand, Rugby player, Ray Niuia and Duane Mutu.

Duane is the man behind the explosion of esports in New Zealand and the founder of LetsPlay.Live that is hosting the event from Auckland's Sky Tower.

Duane and his family hold the Heart Foundation close, as he and his identical twin brother were born with a rare heart abnormality and were saved by an Australasian-first operation as babies.

"We were both operated on within the first six months of our lives to save our lives. This procedure had never been done in this part of the world so the chances of survival were very low, but we were lucky that the doctor at the time was Dr Roger Mee. He would go on to be one of the world's best children’s heart surgeons," says Duane.

The Heart Foundation is New Zealand's leading independent funder of heart research and since 1968, it has funded more than $74 million in research and specialist training. In 1975, the Heart Foundation funded an Overseas Training Fellowship for Dr Roger Mee, helping to pave the way for him to become a world-renowned paediatric heart surgeon and save the Mutu twins' lives.

"The Heart Foundation does fantastic work and our heart is so important to us all - every Kiwi should want to know more and help this charity. So, let’s all show our big hearts this Big Heart Appeal," says Duane.

Volunteers throughout the country generously give their time to support the Heart Foundation’s work. This year’s street collection will take place on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 February.

"Heart disease is New Zealand's biggest killer. With our ongoing commitment to supporting research, we can keep saving lives and improve the quality of life for the 180,000 New Zealanders living with heart disease," says Heart Foundation Medical Director Dr Gerry Devlin.

"We've come a long way, with a 75 per cent reduction in deaths from heart disease since we started our work. But heart disease still claims over 6,000 lives in New Zealand each year and one preventable death is one too many. Heart disease also impacts significantly on the day-to-day activities of Kiwis.”

The live gaming show will be streamed on and from 6.00pm-8.00pm on Thursday 20 February 2020.

You can make a donation during the live event or by calling 0800 830 100 or online. 

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