These people need help from others with good hearts

The community is invited out to the sixth annual Walk for Hearts fundraiser this Sunday.

LENORE COOK UNDERWENT open heart surgery in February. The 82-year-old will attend the First Open Heart Society of BC Comox Valley Chapter's annual Walk for Hearts this Sunday.

LENORE COOK UNDERWENT open heart surgery in February. The 82-year-old will attend the First Open Heart Society of BC Comox Valley Chapter's annual Walk for Hearts this Sunday.

The community is invited out to the sixth annual Walk for Hearts fundraiser this Sunday.According to the Comox Valley Walk for Hearts chairperson Bernie Poole, the money raised will stay here with the majority going to St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation to help support cardiac care initiatives. But the walk is also to create awareness about the Comox Valley Chapter of the First Open Heart Society of BC (FOHS), according to director Lenore Cook.”It isn’t just the money we raise,” said the 82-year-old Comox resident. “It sort of shows to the community that we’re there, and that if anyone needs support they don’t have to join us, they don’t have to be a member, they don’t have to pay anything for the meetings, they just come to the meetings if they’re interested.”The monthly meetings are designed to help support heart surgery patients through what can often be a frightening time in their lives, according to Cook.And she should know since she underwent open heart surgery in late February — for the second time after having surgery 10 years ago. She said the support services of the society are important to her, and to many others in the Valley.”It’s important to have support if you do have heart problems and to understand the importance of keeping fit,” said Cook.She added recent cardiac surgery patients should start walking programs to help get their strength back slowly, noting this is the reason for the ‘walking’ fundraiser, rather than some other activity. Registration for the walk starts at 10 a.m. in the Evergreen Lounge at the Florence Filberg Centre. The walk starts at 10:30 a.m. and walkers will go to and around the Courtenay Airpark and back. Participants can walk as much or as little as they can.Last year the walk raised almost $6,000, and Poole hopes to beat that number this year. To get a pledge sheet, call Bernie Poole at 250-339-5349. Or, donations can be given to FOHS at the time of the walk.FOHS meets every third Wednesday of the month, except for June, July, August and December, at 7 p.m. at the Comox Recreation Centre, located at 1855 Noel Ave.The group has various guests speak on a variety of topics such as: a pharmacist on drugs and interactions, a nurse on pacemakers and the latest advances, doctors on post operative cardiac care and a travel agent on seniors options for travel and travel assistance.There’s time to ask questions of the speakers and talk to other cardiac patients about their experience. Spouses of cardiac patients are also encouraged to attend.For more information on the Comox Valley Chapter of FOHS, call 250-339-5349.writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com