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Why leaving this legacy is so close to Karen’s heart

Gifts in Wills


Why leaving this legacy is so close to Karen’s heart

Why leaving this legacy is so close to Karen’s heart

When Karen’s father had a near-fatal heart attack in his early 60s, it was a huge shock and “scared the life” out of his family – even though his own father had died of heart disease at a young age.

“Compared to his father, who was a very heavy drinker and smoker, we’d always thought that Dad had a much heathier lifestyle. But looking back, although Dad was out on the golf course once a week, his physical health could’ve been better, and that probably contributed.”

In the decade since, Karen, 48, has supported her father through three life-saving heart procedures. While it’s always nerve-wracking, Karen’s thankful for research breakthroughs that have allowed her father to survive what his father couldn’t.

“The change in Dad’s energy levels and colour after he had his arteries unblocked with these procedures was just extraordinary. I think it also changed how he felt about himself and it was a real eye opener as to what had been going on in his body.”

On one of her father’s hospital stays, Karen was wondering what she could do to show her gratitude for the excellent care he’d received and a nurse suggested she donate to the Heart Foundation. “I was so happy to do that. The Heart Foundation has been around for such a long time and I know they take a very coordinated, effective approach to improving the heart health of Australians.”

Since then, Karen’s made regular donations to the Heart Foundation, to help to improve heart disease prevention, detection and support for all Australians. “…because there are still a lot of people with heart disease who don’t make it”.

Then, recently, as Karen prepared for a hiking trip to New Zealand, her thoughts turned to making another great gift – one that has the power to protect generations of Australian hearts. “I’m a type 1 diabetic and this hike was always going to be challenging. I was thinking about my own mortality and where my money would go if something did happen to me… and that was what led me to leave the Heart Foundation a gift in my Will.”

Karen knows a health emergency can strike at any age – and it’s a great feeling to know that her gift will help the Heart Foundation continue its amazing progress towards an Australia free of heart disease, well beyond her lifetime.

“A lot of people associate heart conditions with being older, but our family experience shows that's not the case, so I think caring about heart health is something we should be doing sooner rather than later. If you're going to be creating a Will or redoing your Will, I absolutely encourage you to think about where you want that money to go. What we all want is a happier, healthier country. Heart health goes a long way towards that – my thinking is - if you can help, you need to help.”

Last updated07 July 2023