Gillian Abraham and James Davis are raising funds for Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke.
The organiser of an upcoming race in Lurgan Park hopes the run will help funds for such a worthwhile cause whilst also improving heart health for those who take part.
“Run to Remember” is hosted by the Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke charity and will challenge those taking part to run or walk 5k or 10k on Sunday, August 21.
Hosting the event is NICHS ambassador Gillian Abraham who, along with her brother James Davis, sadly knows only too well the tragic impact of a heart attack on a family.
“The loss of my father in 2004 was such a shock,” she said.
“One minute he was there and the next minute he was gone - it was that sudden.
“He went out to work one day, had a heart attack in the workplace and we got the news.
“It was 18 years ago but it was just like yesterday as I remember the Police coming to the door to tell us and my mum was heartbroken.
“You never want to see your mum in that state and it’s extremely difficult.
“I was the last person to speak to him and he said ‘he was away to work’ and you just don’t expect him not to come back.”
Gillian has experience of organising events like these before – although there won’t be any males running in red dresses this time around.
“I had organised two runs before COVID struck,” she continued.
“One of those was a red dress run which was organised as part of Chest, Heart and Stroke at Stormont and then I hosted my own.
“Everyone was running with red dresses and even men took part which was a great laugh but for a worthwhile cause.
“We decided to launch ‘Run to Remember’ this year and that’s how I first got involved as I remember opening a newspaper a few years ago and seeing a ‘Run to Remember’ race as my dad had died just over a year before that and I thought that would just be perfect.
“Whilst this is the first launch of ‘Run to Remember’, I have organised a few events before for the same charity.”
So, how are preparations going for the event later this month?
“The first two runs were great and I can’t wait for it to come around,” she stressed.
“The preparations are going great, we did start a bit late, but things are getting there and coming along nicely.
“People are continuing to sign-up and I’m using the same route as before so I’m all prepared.
“We are just looking for a good turnout and raise some vital funds.
“You can do a 5k or 10k, run or walk, there is no time limit and you can go at your own pace.
“You get a medal when you cross the line and the winner of the 5k and 10k get a trophy.
“It is to raise funds for such a worthy cause, it costs £10 to enter and we kindly ask individuals to raise a minimum of £50.”
Nadia Duncan, Events and Marketing Manager at NI Chest, Heart & Stroke said, “We are so grateful to Gillian and her family for organising this fundraiser for our cause. Most people aren’t aware that almost 90% of our services are reliant on funding from members of the public and we urgently need your help to continue making a difference to people living with chest, heart and stroke conditions in Northern Ireland.
“There are currently 335,000 people here living with a chest, heart or stroke condition – that’s 1 in 5 of us and four deaths every day are linked to heart disease.
“Run To Remember at Lurgan Park will not only help us continue to provide our vital care services in the local community and fund life-changing research, but it’s also going to be a fun-filled, fantastic family day out for all ages and we really hope that the local community will all come along and get behind it and Gillian.”
You can sign up on the day but if you register in advance you will receive a free fundraising pack. Fundraise £50pp or £100 per family to receive a commemorative Run to Remember medal! Register now at www.nichs.org.uk/RunToRemember
£10 per adult for the 5K or 10K route
Under 18s FREE
If you are interested in hosting your own in-memory fundraising event for the charity please contact email@example.com or Tel: 028 9032 0184
You can check out the event on Facebook HERE https://www.facebook.com/events/724093332135635