The Boston Bruins and the American Heart Association recently teamed up for the annual Go Red night at the TD Banknorth Garden to help kick-off American Heart Month and raise awareness of heart disease. As part of the celebration, volunteers with the American Heart Association and survivors were invited to attend the game including the McMillan family, of Dedham, diehard Bruins fans, who recently lost their father to sudden cardiac arrest.
Mike McMillan, a Dedham police officer and beloved husband, father and friend, died suddenly this past summer after suffering sudden cardiac arrest. A Boston sports enthusiast, Mike’s all-time favorite team was the Boston Bruins. Watching games and following the team became a passion for the whole family including his wife, Kirstin and children, Matthew, Thomas, Michaela, Megan and Liam, but they had never been able to attend a game together.
On January 28th, Kristin was able to bring all five of their children to the Boston Bruins game against the Florida Panthers as part of the American Heart Association’s Go Red Heart Health Night. The family, who had previously been involved with the American Heart Association’s youth fundraising programs in schools, enjoyed a view of the game from a special suite and a meet and greet with Bruins center, Patrice Bergeron.
“The McMillans have supported the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope For Heart and Hoops For Heart programs for years while attending Dedham Public Schools,” said Nancy Murphy, Director of Youth Market with the American Heart Association. “This was our opportunity to give back to the McMillans in a way in which they could pay special tribute to their father.”
As part of the Boston Bruins heart health awareness night, dozens of volunteers and heart disease survivors were treated with special fan experiences including meet and greets with players. NESN anchors wore the color red to support the organization’s Go Red For Women movement and Hands Only CPR demonstrations were made available. In addition, mystery pucks signed by the players were sold with proceeds benefitting the American Heart Association.
Heart disease is the nation’s leading cause of death, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined. The American Heart Association is dedicated to building healthier lives free of heart disease and stroke. The organization helps prevent, treat and defeat the diseases by funding cutting edge research, advocating to protect public health and educating people to live healthier lives.