‘I feel great’: Edmonton man aims to climb Everest for heart attack survivors
EDMONTON -- A local mountaineer is on a mission to climb Mount Everest, and break a record while doing it.
Leo Namen has spent the past year preparing to summit the globes tallest mountain in May.
If he makes it to the top, he will become the first Canadian who has suffered a heart attack to do it.
Namen says he decided to do the climb after experiencing the physical setback of his heart attack.
“The things that I went through after my heart attack, was not only the fact that I had it, it was also the fact that it affected my psychologically, really bad,” said Namen.
“I could not move, my energy was lost completely. My heart was damaged, it’s my main muscle and I couldn’t move. I had lost my identity basically.”
His climb is not only a personal goal, but is also acting as a fundraiser.
He hopes to raise $500,000 for women’s heart health research at the University of Alberta.
“Women are being misdiagnosed. The majority of the studies favour men. So, as a man, let’s help close that gap between women and men. “
He added that the attention his journey to Mount Everest is gaining is important to him, because it helps spread awareness about heart disease.
“I don’t smoke, I don’t drink. And I ended up having a heart attack. Anyone can have a heart attack,” said Namen.
“I feel great, I feel the best physically. I feel better than before, it’s about being a survivor.”