Michael Rohrer was a Tecumseh town councillor when he died suddenly of a major cardiac event. Now his family and friends are taking steps to support cardiac care in Windsor-Essex.
Last month the first Heart & Soul Walk happened in his honour and raised $22,103.79 for Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare— exceeding the family’s own expectations.
“It means carrying on my brother’s legacy of giving,” said Jennifer Rohrer, Michael’s sister.
The walk was only possible thanks to a lot of help, she explained, but plans are already in the works to make it an annual event during the May long weekend.
“I had 46 years with him. His heart, his soul, that’s why it was called the Heart & Soul Walk,” said Rohrer.
Rohrer said all the money will stay local and it will support cardiac and pulmonary rehab programs at the hospital that work with patients who have survived a catastrophic cardiac event or have had heart surgery.
“The rehab program is incredibly important, because it’s about restoring their quality of life,” said Bill Marra, close friend of Michael Rohrer and vice-president of external affairs at Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare.
Family hopes to set up scholarship
The six-month program in west-Windsor is funded for 500 patients a year, but Marra said more than 2,500 patients come through the doors every year.
The level of care through the program goes beyond the physical health, he added, explaining it also helps with nutrition and with the psychological impact from having gone through a traumatic event. The goal is to give patients a healthy, positive lifestyle.
“We’ve been talking about establishing a centre out in the Tecumseh, Lakeshore area,” Marra said. “We believe there is that much demand out there.”
The Rohrer family also hopes to create a…