When we met with Rhonda Catt earlier this year and she shared Peter’s Story with us we knew right away that we would work together. Rhonda’s determination and courage to create a Heart Health Awareness video that would save lives amidst her family tragedy, was nothing short of inspiring.
After a night of playing some hockey with his friends and complaining about heartburn, Peter passed away of a heart attack in his sleep. Our local community here in Vernon, British Columbia was rocked by the news and a family was in disbelief. How could this happen to Peter? He was a non smoker, he was a coach, he was healthy, fit and active. What happened?
I am ready to scream from the top of my lungs about awareness! Awareness for not only the people you love but for your own heart! Heart disease awareness is ready to be pushed to the forefront.
Peter’s wife Rhonda, is a personal trainer in the Okanagan who has worked closely with the NHL, Junior and Minor hockey associations. She could not sit by and watch this happen to others. Rhonda felt the best way to communicate Peter’s Story was with video. It was her idea to connect with all of her hockey relationships, that had been so helpful in her family’s healing, to help promote and push the heart health awareness video to the masses. The response has been overwhelming.
This was the toughest video project I ever worked on and the most inspiring. It was an educational and emotional journey as we filmed interviews with Rhonda and family members, doctors, specialists, hockey players and her two sons. NHL players were sending in their own videos encouraging people to #sharePetersStory and get the video to go viral. Peter’s spirit of strength shined brightly as everyone persevered and we were able to create an impactful video that honoured Peter while educating viewers.
Individuals in the professional Hockey world came forward to help this cause. Such names as Shane Doan, John Carlson, Justin Williams, Nicklas Backstrom , Aaron Volpatti, Chris Osgood, Jerred Smithson, Stacy Roest and a flood more individual players from exciting teams like Colgate University Raiders, Quinnipiac University Bobcats, University of New Hampshire, Bentley University, Vernon Vipers and the the Lumby Stars plus so many more!
We created the long form video “Peter’s Story,” produced several short trailer videos and created the #sharePetersStory to help promote it. The video and website www.petersstory.ca was launched on June 9, 2016 on Facebook and Youtube. One week later we have surpassed 60,000 views in total for all the videos and are in discussions with other health organizations who would like to help the video receive greater distribution. The power of video.
This project was a big eye opener for myself being the same age as Peter. I was made more aware of how heart related issues are one of the highest causes of death. I now realize how many men who think they are fit are simply fooling themselves. I now realize more than ever to not take my health for granted. I am also re-affirmed in my belief that sharing our stories leads to greater awareness, compassion, understanding and connection.
Lastly, I leave you with Rhonda’s own words:
Soon, you will know more about heart disease, signs and symptoms and ways to help prevent or reduce the risk, from a story I need to share. A story that I believe will create more awareness and buzz about heart disease than we could imagine. #sharePetersStory
Click here to check out Rhonda’s great blog post "How healthy is your Love?"