Scotiabank Live Fierce. Be Well. Sponsor: Why I Walk

The American Heart Association is proud to announce that Scotiabank will serve as a supporter of the New York City Heart Challenge and the Wall Street Run & Heart Walk as the 2024 Live Fierce. Be Well. Sponsor! Through this relationship, we hope to further our mission and share resources to help improve the overall wellbeing of Scotiabank employees.

We spoke with a few Scotiabank employees to learn why they got involved in the AHA’s efforts and are participating in this year’s Wall Street Run & Heart Walk.

Live Fierce. Be Well. in New York City is sponsored by


“My nephew Henry is why,” – Peter Gordon, Director, Equity Capital Market, who has been with Scotiabank for 12 years. 

Peter was inspired to join the Wall Street Run & Heart Walk by his nephew, Henry, who at only 11 years of age must undergo a procedure to place a stent in his heart. Peter wants to contribute to funding that advances medical procedures and technology that allow medical professionals to execute surgeries like Henry’s safely.

“These events are so important because it’s critical that we continue to fund saving children’s lives and saving adults,” Peter said.

Peter’s nephew Henry, 11, will undergo his eighth heart surgery this year.

Henry was born with a congenital heart defect called Aortic Valve Stenosis and need a balloon valvuloplasty to widen his valve. At age three his valve was removed and replaced with a mechanical valve, which earned him the nickname “Super Henry.” Now he will need a stent to replace his pulmonary valve as he grows, which is done reduce the reoperation rate in children and young adults.

“Since he was born , Henry, has had four open-heart surgeries, and this will be his eighth total surgery at only 11 years old,” Peter said.

The American Heart Association has invested over $5.7 billion in research since 1949. Click here to discover groundbreaking research funded by AHA.  

Peter is extremely proud of Henry and shared that his young nephew’s dream is to become a doctor when he grows up. He especially wants to become a cardiologist so that he can help kids like himself. live longer, healthier lives. Peter emphasized that he admires his nephew, brother and sister-in-law for having the strength to persevere through their heart journey.

“Participating in this campaign is very important to me. I walk for Super Henry to let him know we’re all still thinking about him and to fund all the advances that go into heart surgeries like his,” Peter said.


“My mom is my why,” – Dana Lee, Manager, Governance, Policy and Strategy, Anti Money Laundering at Scotiabank.

Dana Lee’s maternal family has a long history of heart disease. Her grandfather died from a heart attack at an early age, and just last year, Dana’s mother died over Easter Weekend following a heart attack. Dana says that her mother was relatively healthy, she saw her doctor regularly, she followed a good diet, she exercised religiously and yet, like many women, her concerns about her own cardiac health were minimized. Dana wants women to know that they can have different symptoms and warning signs of heart attacks.

“Cardiac issues don’t always present in the textbook manner, especially for women. This is something I have been acutely aware of since I was a child. To know that my mom did all the things that we’re told we should do and still have that outcome, is something that to me feels like there’s a gap in education and availability to more cardiac screenings,” Dana said.

Dana wants to encourage more women, people of color and first-generation immigrants, like herself, to advocate for their health and to seek out education and additional screenings that can help them be their own advocate.

“We don’t always have access to or awareness of access to these tests, to what they mean for us, and how to persuade our doctors that we need additional tests, if only for a baseline purpose,” she said.

Dana will walk in the 2024 Wall Street Run & Heart Walk to spread awareness of the work the American Heart Association does and to help increase funds to support the Association’s mission.

“I am proud to be a Scotiabanker and I am proud to know that we are sponsors of the American Heart Association because we all have a heart. The problem with heart health and heart disease is that it can happen to anyone,” Dana said.

Dana says that finance is a high stress industry. Therefore, it is critical that we invest in the heart health of the entire Scotiabank community.


“I walk to encourage others to listen to their body” – Chloe Irons, Senior Manager, Internal Control at Scotiabank

Last year, Chloe experienced what felt like the symptoms of a heart attack: aching jaw, tingly face, trouble breathing, heart palpitations and numbness in her left arm. Despite recognizing these symptoms, her initial response wasn’t to go to the hospital, even though she knew that heart disease is the leading cause of death amongst women. It wasn’t until after her father & brother convinced her to get help that she took her symptoms seriously. Chloe then went to the hospital and discovered she had experienced a panic or anxiety attack, which can present similar symptoms to a heart attack. Chloe says, do not self-diagnose, if you experience symptoms of a heart attack, go to the hospital and get an EKG which can detect a heart attack. The earlier you detect a heart attack the greater the odds of a positive outcome.

 

Chloe has made many changes since her health scare, including carving out time in her schedule for physical activity. One of her favorite ways to incorporate movement is by walking her two dogs twice a day for 30-50 minutes. Chloe can feel the positive change reflected in both her physical and mental health. The American Heart Association recommends engaging in about 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of physical activity throughout the week, or about 30 minutes each day.

“Wellness has always been important to me. Making sure that you are physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy really helps you to bring your best self to work, and to be productive & collaborative. It creates a win-win for yourself and your organization,” Chloe says.

Chloe is also working on listening to her body by taking yoga classes and meditating. By learning how to press pause and take a break, Chloe feels more confident in her ability to identify the early signs of anxiety, and when it’s time to step away.

“Take a break, take a breath, go for a walk, and step away. By doing this, I have not had any more symptoms and have improved my own mental health. Give yourself a break, even if it’s just closing your eyes and taking three breaths,” Chloe said.

Explore more stories on health & wellbeing from Scotiabankers in the coming weeks.

To learn more about the NYC Heart Challenge and the Wall Street Run & Heart Walk on May 16, 2024.

If you want to share your story, please contact [email protected] or [email protected] .