Jarmila (Jackie) Ratz
Jackie graduated from the University of Manitoba with a honours degree in Political Science and Religion. She worked as a apparel buyer in the fashion industry for 20 years before going on long term disability due to heart failure. Early in her journey with heart issues she discovered a passion for advocacy. She believes that knowledge is power and set about to not only help herself but to share her knowledge with others. She knows that with support, every heart failure person can impact their care through self advocacy. She is particularly passionate about women's heart health and started a Facebook support group called “Canadian Women with Medical Heart Issues” which now has close to 750 members.
Jackie’s heart journey is due to the treatments she received for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma when she was 24. At age 46 she was diagnosed with Chemo induced Cardiomyopathy and 2 years later a diagnosis of heart failure. She has a CRT-D device and is currently on 6 different medications. The impact of the diagnosis of heart disease and then heart failure in her prime has impacted her physical and mental health which she chooses to speak about publicly to help raise awareness. Along with her own journey with heart failure, she is actively involved with her fathers heart failure care.
In conjunction with running her FB group, she is also the Manitoba champion for HeartLife Canada and is a member of Canadian Women’s Heart Health Alliance Advocacy Committee. Jackie also supports Heart & Stroke initiatives in Manitoba and Nationally. Prior to Covid-19, she had organized two World Heart Day events in her community to help raise public awareness for heart healthy living.