Vancouver (June 19, 2015) — Morley Lercher is happy to be here this Father’s Day, and he wants other dads to hear his story so they can enjoy many more Father’s Days.
Like many young men, Morley was very active growing up. He played numerous sports like rugby, soccer and baseball. He got married in his 30s, began building a career and started a family. Shortly after, Morley was out of sports and out of shape. He weighed in at 248 lbs and, even though his father had a history of heart problems, Morley only went to a doctor when something was wrong.
At 48, Morley a had massive heart attack while referring one of his son’s games. With his heart operating at only 20%, they said he wouldn’t live through the night.
Morley’s story is not uncommon. Canadian men are 79% more likely to die from heart disease than women. 67% of Canadian men are overweight or obese and 85 % of men exceed their daily recommended sodium intake. On average, men have more than nine years of unhealthy life, most of which is preventable.
The Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF) has been working to get men in their 30s & 40s to make small changes in their lifestyles so they don’t go through what Morley did. CMHF Champion Trevor Linden says, “You don’t have to be a super athlete, just take the stairs instead of the elevator, and ask for salad instead of fries.” Linden says small changes in diet and activity can add up to better health for guys. He has joined other Champions to take the CMHF ‘Broccoli Pledge’ this week to encourage men to start making those small changes (canadianmenshealthweek.ca).
Morley did survive. With advice and support from the Healthy Heart Program and the entire Cardiac Department at VHG, he started exercising every morning for 30 minutes riding a bike, and walks whenever possible. He limits his salt intake and dropped the fast food, along with 20 lbs. It’s tough with his heart only working at half normal capacity, but Morley works at it, because he would like to see a few more Father’s Days.
“With what I’ve been through, I really wish I had made some small changes when I was younger,” says Morley. “Tips like the ones at DontChangeMuch.ca would have made a big difference in my health now.”
Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF) is a national, non-profit organization founded by Order of Canada recipient Dr. Larry Goldenberg. The mission of CMHF is to inspire Canadian men to live healthier lives. 70% of men’s health problems can be prevented by adopting healthy lifestyles. CMHF will create a new social awareness and motivate men and their families using health information and lifestyle programs in ways they can hear, absorb, and act on.
Download Press Release in PDF: Morley’s Thinking Health for Father’s Day