BC’s frontline workers are striving to advance research, treatment and patient care, and the Hometown Heroes Lottery provides a win-win way to support their efforts.
Words Lisa Manfield, Photography Lia Crowe
Additional photography Sheila Say Photography + Mike Bradley Visuals
Styling Sarah D’Arcey, Hair and makeup Artist Heather Nightingale, using MisMacK Clean Cosmetics
If the image of an older man clutching his chest in pain is what comes to mind when you picture a heart attack, you’ve likely been exposed to popular media and medical dramas. The problem? These stereotypical depictions are inaccurate for women experiencing heart disease and cardiac arrest. And this has led to decades of miseducation and misdiagnosis.
The rate of heart disease has been rising among women—and it’s affecting more younger women than ever. According to the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre, a woman dies of heart disease in Canada every 22 minutes. But it’s not always due to artery-clogging cholesterol.
Women’s instances of heart disease have a broader range of causes—from genetic predispositions to hormone changes. And the most effective treatment methods are often different, too.
“I deal with women presenting with heart attacks, and I’ve seen women turned away,” says Dr. Jacqueline Saw, an interventional cardiologist at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC). “Typically, what affects men are cholesterol blockages, but in women it’s often caused by spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD). The artery walls split, and blood can pool, which then compresses the main channels,” she says. “About a quarter to a third of heart attacks in women under age 60 involve this tearing.”
The world-leading authority on SCAD, Dr. Saw is on a mission to change how we understand and manage women’s heart disease.
“As a medical student I was always taught that SCAD is really rare,” she says. “But in 2011 I saw three women in two weeks who all had SCAD. That is not rare; we’d just done a poor job of recognizing this disease for decades. Now we need to educate the frontline positions because the proper way of managing this is quite different.”
Beating the odds
For over 10 years, Dr. Saw has worked to improve the odds for women with SCAD—raising awareness and funds for VGH and UBC’s world-leading research.
“We obtained grants to enroll patients in 22 sites throughout North America—people who were presenting at hospitals with a heart attack,” she says. “We were looking to understand the incidence of recurrent heart attacks and recurrent tears.”
In 2018 she helped to launch the Vancouver SCAD conference to educate patients, families and medical practitioners about this condition. “We run the conference every year and work with the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, which helps to support our SCAD research registry.”
Dr. Saw says there is a tremendous need for research funding in this area, not only to catch up on decades of misdiagnosis, but also due to pandemic-related funding losses.
“There’s so much more we need to learn about this condition—we’re only at the tip of the iceberg,” she says. “But being at the forefront of this research has allowed us to educate other physicians in how to manage and diagnose this condition. It’s inspiring and satisfying.”
Supporting burn survivors
The BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund also benefits from proceeds of the Hometown Heroes Lottery. And Vancouver firefighter Sebastian Sevallo says funds are needed now more than ever.
“With an ever-growing population comes a greater risk of fires,” he says, “which in turn increases the risk of burn victims province-wide. There’s a never-ending need for support.”
Sebastian experienced this need firsthand this past year as one of his coworkers was severely burned in a fire he was attempting to put out while off-duty.
“He was fighting a car fire that happened outside his home,” Sebastian says. “The car exploded while he was hosing down an adjacent home to keep it from catching fire, and he unfortunately received significant burn injuries from the explosion.”
Sebastian’s colleague spent a significant part of his recovery receiving treatment in the Burn Unit at VGH. He has made a solid recovery that has enabled him to return to the fire truck and do what he loves.
“But visiting him at VGH and seeing his injuries firsthand was a pretty visceral reminder of why we do what we do with the lottery—and how the Burn Fund is directly helping burn survivors,” Sebastian says. “It’s an honour to be part of an organization that cares so much about the well-being of others.”
A true win-win
Purchasing a ticket to this year’s Hometown Heroes Lottery supports both the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation as well as the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. And one of the stunning prizes on the roster this year is this three-bedroom, three-bathroom house constructed by Crown Isle Homes Ltd. and located in the RISE development within Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community in Courtenay on Vancouver Island.
A pristine respite in a community that offers the best of life right at your doorstep, this 2,900-square-foot luxury home includes a chef’s kitchen, large walk-in pantry, quartz countertops, open-concept living space, cosy fireplace with custom cabinets, plus over 5,100 square feet of custom-landscaped lot outside with a covered patio, irrigation and barbeque hookup.
“Our Vancouver Island Crown Isle package is a staple in the Hometown Heroes Lottery, and this two-level family-oriented home is perfect for a family that needs more space,” says Jason Andrew, director of real estate at Crown Isle.
One of nine incredible prize packages, this one, worth $2.4 million, also comes with $925,000 cash, a $50,000 furniture package from Design Therapy, a 2023 VW electric SUV vehicle, a $25,000 Travel Best Bets gift card and more!
“The Crown Isle community was purpose-designed for residents to enjoy in all stages of life,” Jason says. “From ease of travel to day-to-day amenities, new health care facilities and recreational outlets, it’s all about the lifestyle.”
He adds: “This cause hits everybody, no matter what walk of life. That’s why we made a conscious decision to be a big part of the lotteries. There’s never a time we’re going to stop raising money for the foundation.”
You can get your ticket to the Hometown Heroes Lottery at heroeslottery.com.
卑詩省的前線工作人員正在努力不懈地推進研究、治療和患者護理，Hometown Heroes Lottery 提供了一種雙贏的方式來支持他們的努力。
心臟病的發病率在女性中一直持續上升——而且它對年輕女士的影響比以往任何時候都來得多。據加拿大婦女心臟健康中心 (Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre) 稱，加拿大每 22分鐘就有一名婦女死於心臟病發，而且這並不總是由阻塞動脈的膽固醇所造成的。
溫哥華綜合醫院 (Vancouver General Hospital, VGH) 介入心臟病專家兼卑詩大學 (UBC) 醫學教授Dr. Jacqueline Saw說：「我處理過因心臟病發作而就診的女性，我也見過被拒之門外的女士。通常，影響男性心臟病發的大多是膽固醇阻塞，但在女性之中，它通常是由自發性冠狀動脈夾層 (SCAD) 引起的。因動脈壁裂開，血液聚集，然後壓縮主要血管通道，」她繼續說道：「在 60 歲以下的女士中，大約四分之一到三分之一的心臟病發都涉及這種血管撕裂。」
作為 SCAD 領域的世界領先權威，Dr. Saw 的使命是改變我們對女性心臟病的理解和護理。
「以前作為一名醫學生，我總是被告知 SCAD 非常罕見，」她說：「但在 2011 年，我卻在兩周內見到了三名女性，她們都患有 SCAD，這種情況其實並不罕見。幾十年來，我們在識別這種疾病方面做得很差。 現在我們需要對前線人員進行教育，因為護理它的正確方法是完全不同的。」
十多年來，Dr. Saw 一直致力於改善女性患 SCAD 的機率—提高人們對 VGH 和 UBC 世界領先研究的認知和資助。
她說：「我們獲得了資助，在整個北美的 22 個地點招募患者—那些因心臟病發到醫院就診的患者。 我們希望了解令心臟病反覆發作，以至讓家人淚流不停的發生率。」
2018 年，她幫助發起了溫哥華 SCAD 會議，就這種情況對患者、家屬和醫生進行教育。「我們每年舉辦一次會議，並與 VGH & UBC 醫院基金會合作，這有助於支持我們的 SCAD 研究註冊。」
BC Professional Fire Fighter’s Burn Fund 也受益於 Hometown Heroes Lottery 的彩票收益。溫哥華消防員Sebastian Sevallo 表示，現在比以往任何時刻都更需要資助。
Sevallo 的同事在 VGH 的燒傷病房接受了大部分康復治療。他現已完全康復，這使得他能夠重新回到消防車上做他喜愛的工作。
「但在 VGH 探望他，並親眼目睹他傷勢的時候不期然有一種發自內心的提醒，提醒我們為什麼要用彩票基金來做我們目前所做的事情——以及燒傷基金如何直接幫助燒傷倖存者，」Sevallo 說：「很榮幸能夠成為一個如此關心他人福祉的組織成員。」
購買今年的Hometown Heroes Lottery彩票，既支持 VGH & UBC 醫院基金會，也支持卑詩省專業消防員的燒傷基金。 今年名單上令人驚嘆的獎品之一是由 Crown Isle Homes Ltd. 建造的三臥室三浴室房屋，位於溫哥華島Courtenay 的 Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community 內的 RISE 開發區。
這座 2,900 平方呎的豪華住宅是社區中回歸大自然的憩息之所，在家門口即可享受最美好的生活環境，包括主廚廚房、大型的步入式餐具室、石英檯面、開放式概念生活空間、帶訂製櫥櫃的舒適壁爐 ，加上超過 5,100 平方呎的訂製園林景觀、附有頂棚的露台、灌溉設施和燒烤設施等。
「我們的溫哥華島 Crown Isle 奬品套餐是 Hometown Heroes Lottery 的主打項目，這座面向家庭的兩層住宅非常適合需要更多空間的住戶。」Crown Isle 房地產總監 Jason Andrew 說。
這個總值$240萬，包括了9份令人難以置信的獎品，如現金奬$925,000、價值$50,000的 Design Therapy 家具套裝、一輛 2023 VW 電動 SUV 汽車、一張價值$25,000的 Travel Best Bets 禮品卡等等！
「Crown Isle 社區是專為居民在享受人生每個階段而設計的，」Andrew 說：「從方便的旅行到日常便利設施、嶄新的醫療保健設備和娛樂場所，一切都和生活息息相關。」
他補充說道：「無論是哪一類人，這個事業都有機會可能會影響到他們每一個人。 這就是為什麼我們有意識地決定成為彩票的重要組成部分。 我們永遠不會停止為基金會籌集資金。」
有意者可以在 heroeslottery.com 網上訂購Hometown Heroes Lottery彩票。