Help beat heart disease and stroke at the 34th annual Ride for Heart

New app helps participants set challenges and meet both fitness and fundraising goals

Toronto – From sea to sky, Heart & Stroke’s premiere fundraising event, the Manulife Heart & Stroke Ride for Heart is now permanently a national fundraiser in both official languages. For a second year, the event will welcome participants virtually to ride, walk or run to raise funds to support research breakthroughs and help beat heart disease and stroke.  
“Ride for Heart is one of Heart & Stroke’s most loved and most critical fundraising events and we are proud to offer it nationwide,” says Doug Roth, CEO, Heart & Stroke. “Ride has been a signature cycling fundraiser in Toronto for more than three decades. Now with the public’s ability to exercise and track goals on virtual platforms we’ve expanded the event nationally to engage even more Canadians in our cause.” 
The COVID-19 pandemic has made Heart & Stroke’s work even more urgent. People living with heart disease and stroke are at greater risk of complications and even death if infected with the virus, and emerging evidence is showing that previously healthy hearts can be damaged by COVID-19. 
“Over the past year, Canadians across the country have felt the overwhelming impact of the pandemic on their physical, mental and financial wellbeing. At Manulife, the health of Canadians continues to be a top priority, especially now, during this difficult time,” says Jason Lemieux, Chief Marketing Officer, Manulife Canada. “Through this campaign, and by promoting healthy, active living, we – in partnership with Heart & Stroke – are focused on helping to ensure critical heart and stroke research continues, risks are reduced, and lives are saved.”
Sharing your heart is easy with the new Ride app 
This year’s Ride for Heart has new and fun ways for people to share their experience virtually. Thousands of people will ride, run or walk heart-shaped routes for this year’s event and can either create one using the new Ride for Heart app or make their own using Google Maps. Participants are encouraged to share photos of their finished heart-shaped routes on social media. 
In addition to making their heart-shaped routes, the app (available now in the Google Play Store and the Apple iOS store) has weekly fitness challenges that will help participants get ready for Ride day on June 6 and includes easy to use tips and tools that help people reach their fundraising goals. On event day, the app will feature video and audio content from across the country to share personal stories from people who have experienced heart disease and stroke and drive home the importance of Heart & Stroke’s work. 
Since 1988, the Manulife Heart & Stroke Ride for Heart has raised over $77 million. Those funds support heart and stroke research, awareness and advocacy efforts. Funds raised through Ride for Heart support life-saving research, and health promotion and advocacy efforts that help Heart & Stroke meet our mission to prevent disease, saves lives and promote recovery from heart disease and stroke. 

About Heart & Stroke

Life. We don’t want you to miss it. That’s why Heart & Stroke leads the fight against heart disease and stroke. We must generate the next medical breakthroughs, so people in Canada don’t miss out on precious moments. Together, we are working to promote health, save lives and enhance recovery through research, health promotion and public policy.

Recently, Heart & Stroke released a new creative concept, Beat as One, to unite people in Canada as a community against the myriad of issues surrounding heart disease and stroke. Learn more and join us to beat heart disease and stroke. 

For more information or interviews with Heart & Stroke spokespeople, contact:

Joshua Terry
Regional Communications Advisor, Ontario & Nunavut, Heart & Stroke
647-444-4391 (mobile)