Born with a heart defect, 15-year-old James Hortobagyi and his family have made many trips to B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver for various checkups, procedures and three surgeries.
It’s not easy on the family and it takes organizations like Vancouver Island’s First Open Heart Society (FOHS) to lift some of the burden. That’s why James and his family will again join the Walk For Hearts fundraiser for the society on June 8 in Sidney.
They, and other folks with big hearts, will walk through Sidney to raise awareness of health and support services for people with cardiac concerns.
The Walk For Hearts starts at the Scout Hall on Bevan and Third streets in Sidney at 12 noon, but registration begins at 11:30 a.m.
George Coldwell is coordinating this year’s Walk for the First Open Heart Society and says it will welcome young James, who has had heart health issues all of his life.
James’ mom Shanda says groups like FOHS have been vital to helping her family cope with the travel, overnight stays and other incidentals incurred when having to get her son into hospital.
The Society uses donations to support cardiovascular patients and their families, as well as heart-related equipment and programs at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria and to keep the doors open at Heart House. The facility, opened in 1989, is a bed and breakfast providing accommodation to families of people in hospital and is within walking distance to the Royal Jubilee.
Last year’s Walk raised around $500 and Coldwell hopes to increase that amount next month. Already, the North Saanich branch of the Royal Canadian Legion has donated $1,500 to the Society.
Coldwell said he has been involved with the Society for 29 years, coordinating the Walk often during that time. He has gone through his own heart health issues as well. Still, he has been pounding the pavement looking for donations to the silent auction during the Walk.
He invites anyone interested in helping to get a pledge form from the Society’s website (www.fohs.bc.ca) or make a donation online or on the day of the event. The Walk For Hearts is open to everyone.
For more information, visit the web site or call 250-595-2123.