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Inspirational stories

‘Whānau and karakia got me through’


With 10 tamariki and 14 mokopuna, whānau means everything to Mereana. So when she needed life-saving heart surgery, she wasn’t just fighting for herself. She was fighting for them all.
“It wasn’t about me. I needed to be strong for them.”


Portrait of Wetta Nuualiitia, a young Pasifika man in his 30's. He is looking directly into the camera with a faint smile. Wetta is wearing his hair in a ponytail and has on a white sleeveless t-shirt. He has visible tattoos on his chest and upper arms.

Helping the hearts of the whole community 


Peneueta was in his thirties when a check with his doctor revealed a heart condition that needed surgery. It was a difficult journey but one with a positive outcome - he became a personal trainer and opened a gym. Now he’s not only looking after his own heart, he’s helping the hearts of his whānau and his community.


Portrait of Sunny Naidoo, an Indian man in his 50's. Sunny is pictured looking directly into the camera with a faint smile on his face. He is wearing his World Master Games cap and a running shirt.

Small steps to a big change


Fifteen years ago, Sunny had never pulled on running shoes or set foot inside a gym. But after a heart attack and bypass surgery, he knew things had to change. With the support of his family, he started walking and that soon led to running. Now, he’s competed in numerous events and even in the World Master’s Games. He wants people to help their hearts before it’s too late.


Lowering your risk