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Wil Woan

Wil Woan: Blog One

Thursday 11th May 2017

Heart Valve Voice CEO Wil Woan shares with us his excitement about the cycle ride and why it is important that we are taking this journey.

This cycle ride involves a group of wonderful people who are coming together to achieve something amazing and to promote heart valve disease and I’m honoured to be leading them! I’ve been getting out to train on my bike as much as I can so I hope I can keep up!

I’ve been Chief Executive of Heart Valve Voice for just over twelve months and in that time we’ve accomplished so much. Some of those accomplishments include delivering a Heart Health Survey, a Tackle Valve Disease Campaign across top flight football clubs, attending conferences and launching a Vision Report in the Houses of Parliament. It’s been a busy time but we’ve got a great team around us and willing healthcare professionals, patients and volunteers who give up their time to support our aims.

While heart valve disease is important to me and the work that I do, it has also affected me on a personal level. My Grandfather has recently been diagnosed with valve disease at the age of 82, he, like so many others, mistook his symptoms for signs of getting older. As a charity we need to do much more to raise awareness amongst the general public and Heart Valve Voice is committed to working tirelessly with healthcare professionals, policy makers and parliamentarians to make this happen.

This cycle ride is a wonderful opportunity to help with our awareness raising goals and is a great way amplify our messages about the signs, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and management of the disease at EuroPCR, the world’s largest cardiologist conference. I cant wait!

I’m extremely grateful to each and every one of the riders and to all of the people and sponsors who have supported us as I do believe that this ride will help us to take a massive step forward in raising awareness of the disease. The healthcare professionals joining us on this ride all go the extra mile every day at work and now they will be going the extra mile by helping us with this cycle ride - let’s just hope we don't add any extra miles while we are cycling as we don’t want anyone getting lost!

In addition to the clinicians on the ride, we also have some patient representatives and our very own patient ambassador, Pat Khan who will be joining us. I’ve known Pat now for just over six months and she inspires me every time we work together. She is full of energy and wants to provide her support to valve disease patients, in fact, if she could, she would personally help every patient in the country! When I mentioned the cycle ride she said, without hesitation, “Can I do that? I’d love to show others what their potential could be if you get treated at the right time.”

So, we’ll set off on Monday the 15th and head to France, our videographer will capture footage along the way and we will be posting updates on the website and across social media so please follow along and don’t forget to get behind Pat and give her your support too! Wish us luck…

-Wil