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Our story

Life. We don’t want you to miss it.

For more than 60 years, Heart & Stroke has been dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Our work has saved thousands of lives and improved the lives of millions of others. You’ll probably run into someone today who is alive and well thanks to the countless Canadians who have supported our cause with their time and donations.

It could be the young boy you pass on the street whose heart defect was successfully mended thanks to life-saving research. Or the woman at the coffee shop whose stroke was treated with a clot-busting drug. Or the father whose hockey teammates saved his life with CPR.

Our vision: Healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Together we will make it happen.

Our progress is real. The death rate from heart disease and stroke has declined more than 75% over the past six decades. See our latest results.

Envisioning this kind of progress was what drove a visionary group of Canadians, including researchers and physicians, to establish the beginnings of Heart & Stroke in 1952.

What we do today

Heart & Stroke is a leading funder of life-saving research, which has led to breakthroughs such as heart transplant surgery and a revolutionary stroke treatment that cuts the death rate by 50%.

125,000

Heart & Stroke volunteers working to create healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke, in communities across Canada.

We empower Canadians to live healthier lives — from preventing and controlling high blood pressure to getting more physical activity. And we fight for change that will create better health for all, such as reducing salt in the food supply and improving access to stroke rehabilitation.

But there’s a lot more to do. Much more.

The threat is urgent

Every seven minutes, someone in Canada dies from heart disease and stroke. An estimated 1.6 million more are living with the devastating effects of these diseases. And 9 in 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor, such as high blood pressure, obesity, tobacco use, lack of physical activity and diabetes.

The threat of heart disease and stroke has never been more urgent. And it’s amplified by our aging population, sedentary lifestyles, poor diets and more.

Big challenge, ambitious goals

These are the realities confronting us today. To tackle these challenges, Heart & Stroke has set out the following ambitious goals in our strategic plan:

  • By 2020, reduce the risk factors for heart disease and stroke by 10%.
  • By 2020, reduce Canadians’ death rate from heart disease and stroke by 25%.

The plan focuses our efforts on areas where we can make the biggest impact:

Achieving these goals won’t be easy. But the support of our donors and volunteers makes it possible.

We believe life is worth fighting for. And we don’t want you to miss it.

Resources

Learn more about Heart & Stroke research.

See recent advances made possible by Heart & Stroke donors.

Read the Heart & Stroke strategic plan.

Get our latest Report to Donors.

See our research breakthroughs over the decades.