A Fife resident is fronting a British Heart Foundation (BHF) campaign to promote the charity’s calendar of challenge events, which helps to fund life saving research into heart disease.
Morag Whyte, 46, from Tayport is supporting the campaign after being one of 50,000 people to sign up to do a challenge event for the BHF last year, raising a total of £9million.
Morag became a BHF champion by successfully completing the charity’s Glasgow to Edinburgh Trek with her two friends in memory of her friend’s husband, who died following a cardiac arrest last year. Morag raised around an incredible £1,500 for the BHF’s life saving research.
Morag’s friend Fiona Wardop lost her husband Forbes in February 2015. They were living in Pointe Claire, near Montreal, and Forbes was sweeping the snow away from their driveway when he suffered a cardiac arrest. He was only 42. Every year 30,000 people in the UK suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, but the survival rate is less than 1 in 10.
The 100km Glasgow to Edinburgh Trek is one of over 70 BHF events taking place across the UK this year, including runs, treks, swims and cycle rides. Morag is now encouraging others to become a champion for the BHF by taking on a similar challenge.
Morag explains: “The BHF is a charity close to my heart, after Fiona lost her husband to a cardiac arrest. I felt useless stuck in Scotland; millions of miles away from my best friend, so taking part in a BHF trek was my way to help fund research to help make sure other families don’t have to go through the same tragedy.
“So with nearly £1,500 of sponsorship, I set off with my friends Rosy and Aly. They’ve both got connections to the cause – Rosy is a paediatric doctor and knows the need for research and Aly’s dad died four years ago from a cardiac arrest.
“Although it was tough, it was amazing to meet likeminded people and the event was so well-organised. The sense of achievement afterwards was a feeling I’ve never experienced before and to know we are helping fund the BHF’s research was a privilege.”
“I would encourage everyone to become a BHF champion in 2018. There are plenty of events to choose from and they are suitable for all abilities – you can even do them with family and friends. And being able to raise money for the BHF makes the whole experience even better!”
Susie Roach, Event Organiser of the BHF’s Glasgow to Edinburgh Trek said: “Without the dedication and commitment of people like Morag, we wouldn’t be able to fund research that has broken new ground, revolutionised treatments and transformed the lives of millions of people in the UK. In Scotland alone, we fund over £68 million into projects, including those at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow.
“Around 38,000 people in Fife are currently living with heart and circulatory disease and it is responsible for over 1,000 deaths each year. By becoming a BHF champion and signing up to one of our challenge events, we can one day stop heart disease in its tracks.”
The Glasgow to Edinburgh Trek, which takes place on the 21-22nd July 2018, takes trekkers past numerous landmarks and sites, where participants challenge themselves to walk 100km continuously through the day and night.
There are also shorter routes from Glasgow to the famous Falkirk Wheel during the day.
To find out more about the BHF’s challenge events, visit www.bhf.org.uk/events