The Heart and Stroke Foundation has unveiled its mascot ‘Artur’ to mark the start of National Heart Month.

Introducing the new mascot – ‘Artur’ – unveiled yesterday by the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The larger-than-life character was created especially for the non-profit group by local costume maker Glenroy ‘Geno’ Richardson in collaboration with Daily Observer cartoonist Shane Daniels. It is hoped that Artur will help the foundation raise awareness about the need for a healthy lifestyle to prevent heart disease, stroke and diabetes. From left are Glenroy ‘Geno’ Richardson, Shane Daniel, and foundation members Sumita Baluja, Dr Georgette Mead and Dr Monica Osborne-Stevens. (Photo by Gemma Handy)

– advertisement –

He is seven feet tall, bright red and on a mission to improve lifestyle habits in Antigua and Barbuda.

Meet ‘Artur’ – the brand new mascot unveiled by the Heart and Stroke Foundation to celebrate February’s National Heart Month.

The non-profit organization – which celebrates its third anniversary this week – hopes the eye-catching sponge character will help hammer home the importance of diet and exercise in preventing heart disease, the world’s number one killer.

Arter – short for ‘artery’ – has a special backstory to help raise local awareness of the steps we can all take to prevent high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.

“Arthur is a 16-year-old boy who lives with his mother and grandmother and has embarked on this journey to become a youth health guru because of his life experiences,” explains foundation member Dr Monica Osborne-Stevens.

“He learned from a young age that his mother and grandmother were taking pills every day, and when he asked about it, he was told they had high blood pressure and diabetes.

Front 9 Arter 1
Artur was formally introduced to the nation at Government House on Wednesday to mark the launch of National Heart Month

“He sometimes saw them get sick, sometimes they didn’t feel well because their blood sugar was high. One day he came home from school to see an ambulance. His grandmother was told she had a stroke.

While Arter may be an upbeat presence, he has a very serious message, Dr Osborne-Stevens, of MOS Medical Services in Old Perham Road, explains.

Arter’s grandmother—in the fictional story of the mascot’s creation—recovers but loses her galvanized arter in action.

“He started Googling and YouTubeing and learned all about diabetes and high blood pressure and how to prevent them so he could educate others,” smiles Dr Osborne-Stevens.

A healthy, balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in starch is key, she says, along with 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.

The mascot was designed by local artist and Daily Observer cartoonist Shane Daniels who took Artur two nights to draw.

“I researched online and came up with my own original design,” says Daniel. “It’s great to know that I was able to come up with character designs to contribute to something like this.”

Artur was made into a larger-than-life physical figure by local costume designer Glenroy ‘Geno’ Richardson.

Front 9 Arter 2
Governor General Sir Rodney Williams shakes Arthur’s hand (Photo courtesy Heart and Stroke Foundation)

For Richardson – who is more accustomed to creating carnival costumes with a group of rockers Mass – it was a departure from his usual work.

He says it took Arter several weeks to come together. In addition to sponge, Richardson used backing wire and a red suede finish as his main materials.

He says it’s a privilege to work with this important work that can ultimately save lives.

“When I was doing it I was like, wow, I’ve got to get this right, but now it feels good to see it done,” he adds.

The non-profit Heart and Stroke Foundation was established in February 2020 to act as a voice and support system for patients and their families, raise funds, stage events, and conduct medical research.

Cardiovascular diseases—such as heart disease and stroke—are the leading cause of death worldwide, claiming nearly 18 million lives each year.

For more information visit

– advertisement –

Leave a Comment