Canadian Tire matches Fix-A-Heart campaign donations for Victoria cardiac care

Campaign started by Langford Canadian Tire owner Peter Spillette who died in 2008

A heart-shaped light display entertains customers and shines a light on the 17th year of Hillside Canadian Tire participating in the Fix-A-Heart campaign.

The Hillside store collects donations now through Dec. 24 to help fund life-saving equipment for cardiac units at the Royal Jubilee Hospital (RJH) in a campaign started by Langford Canadian Tire owner Peter Spillette in 2003. Spillette, a Vancouver Island advocate for heart health care, died in 2008. Other local Canadian Tire stores now carry on his vision of contributing $1 million towards cutting-edge cardiac equipment for the RJH.

One of many Vancouver Island residents carrying on Spillette’s vision, Hillside location owner Justin Young worked with two local tech companies to create the heart-shaped display. Also a bone cancer survivor, he spent a year in a hospital for sick children suffering from an osteosarcoma.

“I’ve dealt first-hand with medical trials and tribulations,” Young said. “When you have the right equipment and the right care, that can be the difference between life and death.”

His store, as well as other locations in Greater Victoria, will match customer donations up to $20,000.

In 2018, proceeds from the campaign funded vital signs monitors. This year, proceeds from the campaign will go towards infusion pumps, which provide patients with nutrients and medications in a continuous and safe way.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Fix-A-Heart campaign returns to Greater Victoria Canadian Tire stores

Medical Director of Heart Health for Island Health, Dr. Peter Gladstone, said he sees this equipment make a difference every day he walks through the cardiac units at RJH. “These are vital things that literally do contribute to fixing a person’s heart,” Gladstone said.

Gladstone said up to 50 per cent of Canadians are touched by heart disease. “It’s probably still the leading cause of death,” Gladstone said. “The technology we have now to change that outcome has made a tremendous difference.”

Gaëlle van Erp, a spokesperson for the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, said local Canadian Tire stores, managers, cashiers, staff and customers have helped raise over $840,000 towards Spillette’s $1 million goal since 2003. “We know the giving heart of this community, and it’s beating very strong right now,” van Erp said.

Other Canadian Tire stores participating in the campaign include locations at View Royal, Royal Oak, North Saanich and Langford, as well as the Gordon Head automotive centre. People can donate any amount at the till. Customers who donate more than $5 at Hillside will also have a paper heart posted on the wall to acknowledge their contribution.

READ ALSO: Victoria hospital at the forefront of cardiac research

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com


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