By Greg Price
Editor’s Note: The event detailed in the following story was recently rescheduled from June 9 to a future date, possibly June 23.
To paraphrase rock icons Queen, there will be several Taberites who like to ride their bicycle on Thursday — this time to raise awareness and money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Frito-Lay employees will be participating in the Heart and Stroke Big Bike campaign where 29 enthusiastic riders along with one driver for the foundation will be in a 30-seat bike, starting at the company’s office in the industrial area and making their way around town in Taber on Thursday, starting at 7 p.m.
“It has been 10 years or so since the bike has been down in Taber, so we really appreciate them taking this opportunity to fundraise for us,” said Trish York, fund development co-ordinator for Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. “We do hugely significant amounts of research right here in Alberta at the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta in Edmonton. TPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator), a clot-busting drug was developed right here in Alberta thanks to the great donations with people riding the Big Bike.”
June is Stroke Month with February having been Heart Month for the foundation. In bringing awareness in Stroke Month, the foundation stresses the FAST principle.
“In the research done here, they have come to realize that 1.9 million brain cells die per minute while the person is having a stoke. It is imperative to get to them to the hospital as quickly as possible,” said York.
Breaking down each letter of FAST is ‘F’ for face. Is the face drooping? ‘A’ is for arms. Can they lift them? ‘S’ is for speech. Is it slurred?
“If you are seeing those signs then ‘T is for time and you need to call 9-1-1,” said York. “FAST is an easy acronym for people to remember. It is really important to get anyone who is having a stroke to the hospital as quickly as possible.”
For those who would like to donate to the Taber team in the fundraiser, they can log onto http://www.bigbike.ca and search out the local team riding out of Taber.
“Their goal is to raise $1,800,” said York. “It’s a super-fun opportunity to raise funds. They even have a second team from Spitz that will ride right afterwards. They’ve rounded up two teams to ride that night (Thursday), back-to-back. They go for about a 20-minute ride. We have a route down 50th and then through town to draw attention to it and awareness.”