MOUNT Helena’s Cass Stacey was a child when her 60-year-old grandad died after a long battle with heart disease.
“Grandad had been sick the whole time I’d been growing up, and before the funeral my family asked for donations to the Heart Foundation in lieu of flowers,” she said.
“Early in life that’s been my cause – the Heart Foundation was the first charitable organisation I knew about.
“Our family have also attended the Heart Foundation’s annual memorial and thanksgiving events.”
She has registered to participate in this year’s HBF Run for A Reason event in Perth on Sunday, May 27.
“I ran last year, and thinking about my family gave me something to focus on,” she said.
Her grandad’s passing isn’t the only time heart disease has touched her family.
Her pop had a minor heart attack at her sister’s engagement party, and despite triple bypass surgery later died in hospital.
Heart disease continues to plague her family.
Her active father-in-law has an irregular heartbeat and her step-father had an internal defibrillator inserted after his 50th birthday. For the past 18 years, a pacemaker has helped keep her 80-year-old grandma alive.
“I’m 32, and I’m determined to avoid what I’ve seen my family go through, having these procedures, losing loved ones and having to take pills every day,” she said.
“I make sure I have regular tests and have a home gym to keep fit. Also, I’ve got a six-year-old daughter and I want to set a good example for her.”
Her aim for this year’s Run For A Reason is to improve her time, and raise more than $1000 for the Heart Foundation’s lifesaving work in research, awareness and care.
For more information about the Perth event, visit www.hbfrun.com.au.