Challenge Accepted; $61,000 raised for local Cardiac Wellness Program



For Immediate Release

November 13, 2013


Challenge Accepted; $61,000 raised for local

Cardiac Wellness Program


WINDSOR, ON - The support of 1,530 participants and 1,300 spectators attributed to the remarkable success of the inaugural Heart Breaker Challenge which took place on May 4th of this year. The event featuring 22 obstacles over a 5 km course at Malden Park was the first race of its kind in Windsor-Essex, raising $61,000 for the Cardiac Wellness and Pulmonary Rehab Programs at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare.

Event Organizers gathered at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare on Wednesday for a formal cheque presentation and to announce the date of the highly anticipated 2014 event, taking place on Saturday, May 24th at Malden Park. 

Building on the growing popularity of obstacle races, the Heart Breaker Challenge is a grass roots event. “What makes this event special is that with the efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers we were able to proudly ensure that 100 per cent of the funds raised support these two great programs right here in our community,” remarks Jason Petro, Coordinator of the Cardiac Wellness and Pulmonary Rehab Programs, and Heart Breaker Challenge Lead Event Coordinator. “Heart Breaker is about having fun, and challenging yourself and your fellow Heart Breakers while promoting an active lifestyle. The vital funds raised at this event support those with cardiac or pulmonary disease and allow the programs to continue to provide safe, medically managed and multidisciplinary rehabilitation which includes healthy lifestyle education and supervised exercise sessions for the people of our community.” 

Last year’s Heart Breaker Challenge event drew local and out of town participants of all ages and athletic ability who accepted the challenge of crawling through mud pits, sliding down giant waterslides and dredging through ditches. 

Planning for the 2014 event is well underway with the Event Organizing Committee meeting regularly to plan new obstacles and event features. For event information and to register for the Heart Breaker Challenge visit or like the Heart Breaker Challenge Facebook page Registration for the May 24, 2014 event is now open. 




The Cardiac Wellness Program is a six month medically managed cardiac rehabilitation program that assists participants following a cardiac event. The Program consists of twice weekly supervised exercise sessions, six mandatory education classes, and individual counseling sessions with specific members of the interdisciplinary team when appropriate. The program supports 500 participants annually. Since the introduction of the program in 2001, over $650,000 has been raised through various fundraising events. 

The interdisciplinary team also offers a Pulmonary Rehab Program, a 16 week program that assists people after being diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Through three weekly exercise sessions and an educational component, the program aims to maintain or improve exercise tolerance and quality of life for participants, as well as reduce dyspnea and hospital readmission rates.

For more information contact Bill Marra, Senior Director – Partnerships, Planning, Communications & Development at (519) 257-5234 or (519) 919-0033