Thanks to all of your support, we’re proud to celebrate the first official year of the HeartLife Foundation! As Canada’s first and only patient-led heart failure organization, we truly couldn’t have reached this milestone without you: the patients, families, carers, medical professionals and everyone helping out.
With our group growing and our team keeping busy, many of you don’t know the story behind Heartlife and what went down last year, so we’d like to fill you in with this post.
2016: The HeartLife team assembles
HearLife was first conceived when co-founders Jillianne Code and Marc Bains met in mid-2016 at the Heart and Stroke Foundation roundtable on Heart Failure. Connecting immediately, Jillianne and Marc shared life stories and aspirations about advocacy. It was immediately apparent that big things were to come. In June 2016, The HeartLife Foundation was born with a goal to provide advocacy and better care for all those living with Heart Failure in Canada.
Jillianne and Marc went on to, not only attend but present at the Canadian Heart Failure Society (CHFS) and Canadian Cardiovascular Congress (CCC) conferences that year. At the time, it was a rare occurrence to have patients attend, let alone present. The journey was beginning to take shape.
Marc and Jillianne both want to give a big shout out to Dr. Sean Virani for his early, and unwavering, support and willingness to take on the role of HearLife Medical Director. Without his support, dedication and great style (best-dressed doc) the Foundation would not be where it is today. [To learn more about our team, click here.]
2017: Growing the voice of patients at heart failure conferences
We deeply appreciate everything that healthcare professionals do for us, but as heart failure patients ourselves, we felt patients needed more say at conferences and within the industry. With HeartLife bridging the gap, we aim to see more progress for patients, carers and healthcare professionals. 2017 saw more patient and carer involvement, with us speaking and bringing patients into two huge, national heart failure events, marking a new direction for the industry.
Canadian Heart Failure Society (CHFS) 2017 - Here 26 patients and carers from across Canada attended a heart failure advocacy workshop. Our friend and supporter Nick, CEO and founder of the UK charity Pumping Marvellous, was also a keynote.
Canadian Cardiovascular Congress (CCC) 2017 - Jillianne and Marc took part in six panels at last year’s conference with various roles as speakers, meeting chairs and in the case of Jillianne, as an opening keynote. Furthermore, HeartLife was able to bring together a group of HeartLifers from across Canada to attend the conference. Servier helped us out by hosting a "Putt fore a good cause" where attendees putt to raise funds to support HeartLife.
Women’s Heart Health Research Network 2017 - Last November Jillianne also took part in this event by the Heart & Stroke Foundation.
2017: Notable Milestones
What started as a dream in 2016 quickly became a reality over only a year, with HeartLife already showing its potential.
- Had active roles in CHFS and CCC 2017
- Received official charitable status
- Joined the Better Pharmacare Coalition
- Launched our private Facebook group (please join!)
- Published the article (written in collaboration with Canadian doctors and scientists): “The Need for Heart Failure Advocacy in Canada” in the November 2017 Canadian Journal of Cardiology.
2018: Notable Milestones
- You joined the HeartLife community! (If you haven’t already)
Thank you all for your support in 2017 and we’re excited for what we have planned in 2018… Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You can also signup to become a free HeartLife member or join our private Facebook group (The first dedicated Canadian support group for those living with heart failure, open to both patients and carers).
By growing the HeartLife community, we can all help improve the quality of life of people living with heart failure. As the first patient-led Canadian heart failure organization, your participation is vital to our success, whether you’re a patient, carer, family member or medical professional.
And special thanks to:
- Canadian Heart Failure Society
- Canadian Cardiovascular Society
- Heart and Stroke Foundation
- Nick Hartshorne-Evans @ Pumping Marvelous
- And all the patients, carer and medical professionals across Canada!