Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of premature death globally. It steals people’s quality of life and takes our mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers prematurely.
There’s a way to help stop this devastating disease.
During the University of Calgary’s 2023 Giving Day period, April 11 to 27, Canadian Pacific Kansas City Railway (CPKC) has once again stepped up to support heart health. That means all Giving Day gifts to the Libin Cardiovascular Institute’s Cardiovascular Greatest Needs Fund, up to $2,500 per gift, will be matched twice. Each donation will have triple the impact — while match funds last.
Research that’s making a difference
The Libin Cardiovascular Institute is a team of change-makers and innovators working together to fight cardiovascular disease and improve heart health. Their work, conducting world-class research, providing leading-edge clinical care and training the next generation of cardiovascular leaders, is making a real difference in improving cardiovascular outcomes in the province and around the world.
Dr. Robert Rose, PhD, investigates atrial fibrillation (AF), a common arrhythmia that can severely impair quality of life and lead to death by stroke or heart failure. The goal of his research is to find new treatment options.
The Rose lab has made several key findings. It is currently investigating the possibility of enhancing the effects of powerful protective hormones in our bodies to prevent changes in cardiac function that can lead to AF.
Rose, deputy director of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute, notes that, “Finding a treatment for this condition would be life-changing for individuals who are suffering.”
Dr. Jacquie Baker, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow investigating a novel treatment for orthostatic hypotension (OH), a form of low blood pressure impacting about seven per cent of Canadians that occurs because of a problem with the automatic nervous system. When patients with OH stand, their blood pressure plummets, causing light-headedness, nausea and fainting.
Baker’s research tests the impact of rebreathing carbon dioxide — which is expelled as a regular part of the respiratory process. The team is in the early development stage of commercializing a mobile carbon dioxide rebreathing device.
“We have found that when patients breathe a little carbon dioxide back in, their blood pressure is far steadier, and sometimes we can completely prevent blood pressure from dropping,” says Baker.
“We are allowing people to get up and go about their day and do the things they love,” says Baker. “This work could essentially give them back their lives.”
These life-saving achievements have been made possible with the generous support of community partners, such as CPKC. The company has helped raise more than $33 million to help improve the heart health of adults and children across North America.
CPKC has been the signature sponsor at several The Beat Goes on Galas and have chosen the Libin Institute as the recipient of the Clear Rounds initiative at the Canadian Pacific International, held at Spruce Meadows.
“We respect the Libin Cardiovascular Institute’s focus on precision medicine, which mirrors our commitment to precision scheduled railroading,” says Heather Woods, manager, sponsorship and community investments for CPKC. “In our hometown we are proud to support Libin, and together we have helped raise over $1.8 million for their world-leading research. The work we have done together will be measured in decades.”
Libin Cardiovascular Institute Director Dr. Paul Fedak, MD, PhD, is thankful for the company’s ongoing contributions.
“CPKC’s support enables the Libin Institute in its goal of developing the next practice in cardiovascular care,” says Fedak. “On behalf of the institute, I sincerely thank CPKC for its contributions to advancing world-class cardiovascular research, education and innovation in clinical care. Our work wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our community partners.”