From the Toronto Rehab Foundation
Less than a year after she had cardiac bypass surgery, Cathie Singer and her husband Peter celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with a 310-kilometre bicycling tour of Vietnam. “A year ago, I never would have imagined that I would move forward so quickly and feel so normal,” says Cathie, 53. “I recovered enough that on the trip, I wasn’t any different than the other cyclists. I felt totally normal, totally recovered – just another one of the group.”
Always a physically active person, early in 2004 Cathie began to experience chest pain. Her father died of a heart attack at 43 so she was aware of her increased risk. An angiogram showed that her left coronary artery was 95% blocked. Following heart surgery, Cathie enrolled in Toronto Rehab’s cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention program to rebuild her fitness and confidence.
“I thought I was knowledgeable about fitness and diet. I’ve always exercised and I read a lot on the subjects, but I learned so much from the cardiac rehab staff and the other participants,” she says. The staff helped Cathie, who is the mother of three grown children, to train for her cycling trip. Since her trip coincided with the cardiac rehab program’s fundraising walk-a-thon, On Track to Recovery, Cathie and Peter decided to get pledges from family, friends and co-workers for each kilometre they cycled in Vietnam.
Not only did they thoroughly enjoy seeing the country and meeting the people – including many children but they raised more than $2,300 for Toronto Rehab’s cardiac rehabilitation program.