The 10th annual Radio For Cardiology (RFC) is happening today in the foyer of the Royal Victoria Hospital and it is an all-hands-on deck kind of day for those involved.
The radiothon is celebrating 10 years of community involvement and had initially committed to raising $500,000. After accumulating just over $450,000 KICX 106 and 104.1 The Dock upped the goal to $1 million.
KICX 106 morning radio personality and Canadian country singer Jason McCoy was live on location today and talked about what the event was all about.
“Our company has been involved with this passionately for ten years, which is just unreal to me,” said McCoy. “Its a half million dollar pledge to the cardiac catheterization lab and its starts here with people making pledges $1 at a time and even from our corporate supporters; it is a great way to make sure you and your loved ones have a better chance of survival during a cardiac event.”
The program serves people throughout the area that is North Simcoe Muskoka and provides everything heart related from angiograms, angioplasties and heart diagnostics and interventions. With 14,300 square-feet filled with 16 beds, two procedure rooms and rooms for consultations, the cardiac centre is the envy of Ontario, despite Barrie not having one for so long.
“The 90-minute golden standard of care is the idea that if you have a heart attack or a heart issue that 90-minute window is critical to having a successful outcome,” said McCoy. “We used to have to travel to places like Newmarket and Southlake but thankfully now we don’t.”
McCoy is one of country music’s brightest stars as a solo artist as well as the lead singer in the popular award-winning band ,The Road Hammers. As of last year McCoy joined the KICX 106 morning team and with the retirement of local radio legend Jack Latimer, the new show was rebranded Mornings With Jason and Carey (Moran).
McCoy is a local guy and knew coming in that giving back to the community was a big part of the job, and one that he relished doing especially after learning things he wasn’t aware of.
“I had heard many of the radiothons that KICX and The Dock did over the years and knew it was a big deal but didn’t know it was this big until I got on the other side of the microphone,” said McCoy. “It was an eye-opener for me because I didn’t know the equipment in the hospital is not paid for by the government, it’s all the hospital and staff itself that get it, so it’s all community raised.”
Eric Dean is the CEO of the RVH Foundation and has been involved with RFC for eight years and says he has enjoyed watching it grow. Dean is still in awe of how much work the radio stations put in to the event and says they are more like hospital volunteers and staff with the way they care about patients and give their time selflessly.
“What’s amazing about the radio stations is that the interviews they’ve conducted with families are done so wonderfully,” said Dean. “They really capture people’s story and emotions going through whatever they have gone through, that magic comes out on the airwaves and impacts us to the point of being able to go ahead and tell stories better as well. I think the aspect I enjoy most is when someone tells their story and a listener hears it and realizes they have symptoms they need to be aware of; it’s an educational thing as well.”
There is still a ways to go as far as the full treatment that the hospital can provide, but through fundraising and hard work by sponsors and volunteers, the goal of being fully operational all the time is something Dean knows is coming.
“The stations are getting closer to their goal of a million dollars and we’re not finished yet,” said Dean. “The initial program is up and running and we have one cardiac catheterization lab established and already over 360 people have had angiograms here at RVH. Over the next two years, that program will continue to ramp up as a second cath lab comes online and we start to do actual stents here in the fall. In the next two years we will become a fully functioning 24/7 interventional unit.
The RFC continues today and anyone looking to give donations can do so by stopping in or calling 705-720-1991. Dean is there throughout the day with many of the RFC helpers and knows that this will be another successful event, with money raised and people informed.
“We’re so proud that this is a decade of giving and that KICX 106 and The Dock are here onsite doing just an amazing radiothon telling stories of survivors and those who haven’t survived a cardiac event,” said Dean. “This is all about getting the message out there, both about raising funds for Radio For Cardiology and also raising awareness about the need to think about heart health; we really need people to know what their resources are.”