Omemee wife Annie Smith hosts her fourth year Annie’s Pace World Adventure (APGA) to raise funds and awareness for heart health, during a four-day event.
Smith was diagnosed with cardiac sarcoidosis, an invisible, rare, incurable and life-threatening disease, in 2016.
“My message comes from one of my top cardiologists, ‘your life is worth an hour a day,'” Smith said.
The AGPA encourages participants to take control of their heart health by being active for one hour a day. During the four-day event, attendees are encouraged to share online what activity they are doing that day to stay active and keep their hearts healthy.
Smith has people participating all over the world in Canada, Hong Kong and even Transylvania.
“People find reasons not to train, we only have so many hours in a day and everyone goes through things but your heart needs it,” Smith said.
Smith says it’s important to set realistic and achievable goals to stay active.
“Don’t look is an I must, look is an I can. People have to understand that there are people who can’t do that,” she said. “I’ve been limited to what I can do physically now because of my heart and it’s been a crash in my life.”
The AGPA not only encourages participants to stay active, but also encourages them to register for organ donation and donate to the cause if they can.
Funds raised through SFGA will go to the Test Your Limits initiative at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. This initiative was started by Dr. Heather Ross, MSH/UHN Heart Failure Program Leader.
Dr. Ross says she is inspired by her patients every day. Accompanied by doctors and transplant patients, the team climbed in Nepal, trekked through Bhutan and skied to the North and South Poles while raising more than $2 million for heart failure research, heart transplantation and heart health.
Smith did her four-day walk from April 6-9, several weeks before the event since she underwent bilateral knee surgery on April 25. His walk was done ahead of schedule to avoid post-operative damage to his knees.
Smith plans to walk again after recovering from repairing her knees.
“I did my best with two knees that were really bad and two ankles that were really bad,” Smith said. “I did it because I wanted to keep up with Annie, not just because I’m Annie but because I like to test my limits.”
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