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Mom thanks partners of ACT High School CPR Program that empowered son with the skills that saved her life

EDMONTON, AB, 22/02/08

Sylvia Orr is both thankful and lucky to be alive. The Edmonton mom’s life was saved by her son, Steve, thanks to emergency training he received through the ACT High School CPR Program.

“I am so proud of my son,” says Orr of Steve, whose quick action when she experienced what she thought was a migraine helped to ensure a happy ending that might have otherwise turned tragic. In the spirit of Heart Month, Orr will get the chance to share her story at a Kiwanis Club of Edmonton luncheon, where she will also thank the partners who made the lifesaving ACT Program possible. The luncheon will take place on February 25, 2008 at the Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel at 10155 – 105 Street.

Steve credits the ACT Program for knowing what to do. “You always think something like this won’t happen to you or your family,” he says, adding he’ll never forget just how close he came to losing his mother

The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is an award-winning, national charitable organization driving a cross-country campaign to establish CPR as a mandatory program in every Canadian high school. ACT raises funds at the community level to provide schools with the CPR mannequins, resources and teacher training schools need to establish and maintain the program. Through the program, teachers are trained to teach CPR to their students.

“The ACT Foundation’s dedication in implementing its High School CPR Program in Alberta will continue to save lives,” says Orr. “The support from the Foundation’s partners will make this program a continued success.”

The Kiwanis Club of Edmonton has been a longstanding partner of the ACT Program, which was established in the city in 2001. As the lead community partner, the club has donated more than a thousand mannequins to local schools, including M.E. Lazerte High School where Steve received his training. Recently the club donated an additional $7,800 to outfit schools with new mannequins.

“The Kiwanis Club of Edmonton continues to support The ACT High School CPR Program not only because of the obvious need for such a program but because we actually see the results in our community,” says Eldon Franklin, Kiwanis Club of Edmonton President. “Edmonton bystanders are among Canada’s highest when it comes to a population with the ability to perform CPR and save lives. We credit the program accordingly.”

The Edmonton program was also made possible through funding from the STARS Foundation. A founding provincial partner, STARS has donated $275,000 to support the program throughout Alberta including Edmonton.

“More medical problems are emerging where time is critical to survival,” says,” Dr. Greg Powell, STARS Foundation President and C.E.O. “Students are getting an important exposure to time sensitive issues by learning CPR and will bring those skills and attitudes to bear at times of many different emergencies.”

The ACT High School CPR Program is currently in more than 300 Alberta schools and over 120,000 Alberta students have been trained to date. Nationally more than 900,000 youth from over 1,200 schools have been empowered to save a life through the ACT Program. Supporting the program in Alberta and nationally are: AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Pfizer Canada and sanofi-aventis.

In addition to empowering youth to save lives, the ACT Program has a strong health promotion message, says Sandra Clarke, Executive Director of the ACT Foundation. “Students learn about risk factors for heart disease and the importance of adopting heart healthy lifestyle behaviors at a young age. They will then bring their health promotion message and lifesaving skills to their present and future families,” says Clarke.

About the ACT Foundation
The ACT Foundation is a national, award-winning charitable organization dedicated to promoting health and empowering Canadians to save lives. ACT is driving a national campaign to establish CPR as a mandatory program in every Canadian high school. ACT raises funds for CPR mannequins for schools and guides schools in program set up. The Foundation and its core partners are winners of Imagine Canada’s “New Spirit of Community Partnership” Award. Core partners are companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Pfizer Canada and sanofi-aventis. They provide ACT’s sustaining funding and are committed to the Foundation’s national goal of promoting health and empowering Canadians to save lives. For more information visit: www.actfoundation.ca.