Toronto (July 22, 2015) - Dr. Heather Ross, cardiologist, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and a world-leading heart failure and heart transplant physician along with her team will undertake their first Test Your Limits trek on Canadian soil and their first on water, when they take on the whitewater rapids of the Nahanni River, a world heritage site and National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories, beginning today.

"The idea behind getting on water was to do something different, something Canadian, something anybody could do if they wanted to and it's a little more reachable," says Dr. Ross, who is also Site Lead, Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research. "You really do have a lot to control over your own heart health and if we can inspire Canadians to do 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, which are the current guidelines and amount to just 30 minutes of exercise five times a week, if we can reach them and excite them about exercise, that is the single most important reason to do these trips," she says.

Test Your Limits was created to raise awareness and funds for heart disease research and organ donation. Since 2006, Dr. Ross and various team members, including transplant patients, have tested their own limits by taking part in five different adventure treks spanning the globe from Antarctica to the South Pole. The sixth Test Your Limits trek to the Nahanni River will include a team consisting of a heart and a kidney transplant patient, two cardiologists and a fire marshal.

"Our internationally-recognized expertise in cardiac and vascular care coupled with a novel multi-disciplinary medical approach enables us to save and improve the lives of some of the most ill heart patients in the country and indeed around the world, every day," says Dr. Barry Rubin, Medical Director, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. "Through the tireless efforts of Dr. Ross and others, we are becoming even more proactive about heart disease prevention education to the public. We are focused on research that will help identify patients at increased risk for heart disease well before it becomes an irreversible medical emergency," he says.

Over a three-week span, the five-member Test Your Limits team will canoe over the rapids of the Nahanni River with the goal of raising $300,000 for heart disease research, adding to the over one million dollars that Test Your Limits has raised since it began in 2006.

Video interview: Dr. Heather Ross, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre

About the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre

The Peter Munk Cardiac Centre is the premier cardiac centre in Canada. Since it opened in 1997, the Centre has saved and improved the lives of cardiac and vascular patients from around the world. Each year, approximately 55,000 patients receive innovative and compassionate care from multidisciplinary teams in the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, and the Centre trains more cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons and vascular surgeons than any other hospital in Canada. The Centre is based at the Toronto General Hospital and the Toronto Western Hospital – members of University Health Network.

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