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Saturday, 30 August 2014

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Fundraisers ramp up the red for vital heart charity

“BRITISH Heart Foundation saved my life.”

By Mark White and Lucy Grosvenor

Kathleen France had heart surgery and benefited from the British Heart Foundation’s services, and is in no doubt of the importance of last Friday’s BHF Ramp Up The Red day.

“I had a mechanical valve fitted and the BHF were fantastic,” said Kathleen, a sales advisor at Dixons in Whitehaven, where a fundraising day was held.

“I had the choice between having a pig’s valve or a mechanical valve and, without the BHF, I would never have had the choice.

“The pig’s valve would have had to be replaced after 10 years so it was a really important choice.

“They helped me through everything and even now they still offer support and I get their magazine which is where I found out about doing the event.”

Moved by Kathleen’s story, the staff at the Dixons store, Whitehaven all bought T-shirts, had a raffle and have offered a quiz to customers, all to raise money for BHF’s Ramp Up The Red.

“This charity really does make a difference to people’s lives and until you’re involved in something they do, you don’t appreciate just what an amazing job they do.

“They are so important to so many people and I’m glad that we can give something back,” said Kathleen.

Michelle McAvoy, fashion manager at Dixons, added: “Not only are we hoping to raise money for the cause but we also want to raise awareness by wearing our T-shirts and with the other things going on in the store.

“It’s a great cause because I think everyone knows someone who has had heart trouble, so it’s a cause that almost everyone can relate to and we’re really hopeful we can raise lots of money and do our bit.”

Dixons raised £100.

An event at Kells Rugby League Football Club also saw red for the BHF day. Members of the Fit4Life outreach cardio rehab class, at Kells ARLFC, made exercise fun with red wigs and cakes.

Instructor, Becky Scott, said: “It is so important that we look after our hearts. Many of the people who use the cardio rehab service have suffered heart problems in the past so it really is a cause that many feel grateful to.”

Beverly Foulder, another instructor, said: “Heart problems are still the biggest killer in the UK so we need to keep raising awareness.”

Albert Adams, 72, uses the service. He said: “I was in a car accident in 2006 and in hospital for nearly a year after.

“I constantly need to be looking after my heart so I’m happy to ramp up the red for today. The services offered by Fit4Life cardio rehab are vital to people like me.”

The Fit4life event raised £58.

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