Kirsty Mapes from Swindon, sadly lost her father to heart disease and is urging others to join her at the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Wiltshire Bike Ride on Sunday 13 May.
Kirsty, aged 24, is taking part in the cycle challenge in memory of her father, who died suddenly from a heart attack in 2011. She wants to raise money for the BHF to give something back to a charity that is working to reduce the risk of heart attacks and to prevent other families going through the same devastation.
Kirsty said: “I last saw my dad on father’s day last year- we held a celebration for him with all the family and he loved his presents. Three days later, we found out he had died from a heart attack and was found with his dog by his side, after taking him for a walk. The whole family were so shocked by his death – since he was diagnosed with diabetes last year, he had turned his life around and lost three stone as a result.
“It was truly heartbreaking for me and my brother and sister to tell our children about his loss. We all had such a close bond with him and it has been tough living without him. I have chosen to support the BHF because I have seen firsthand how badly heart disease can affect families and I want to help others have a better outcome than my dad had.”
The Wiltshire Bike Ride starts from Seend Lye Recreation Grounds and offers cyclists a choice of either a 28 or 47 mile route making it perfect for families and cycling enthusiasts.
Jemma Curran, Regional Event Organiser for the BHF said: “There’s still time to sign up for the Wiltshire Bike Ride in two weeks time. Kirsty’s story is truly inspirational and I hope that more people join her on the cycle so that together, we can help beat heart disease.”
The Wiltshire Ride hopes to attract over 700 cyclists on the ride this month in an attempt to raise as much money as possible to support the nation’s leading heart charity. Last year it raised an impressive £25,000 and this year, it is hoped the event will be bigger and better.
Despite major advances in heart research, education and care, there is still a huge amount to learn, and a lot of work to be done. Events like this raise vital funds that help the BHF continue their life-saving and life-changing work.
The entry fee is £15 for adults and £7.50 for children. Registration is available from 8am on the day but at higher fee. Entry fees help towards the cost of running the event safely, but we need you to raise as much sponsorship as possible to help us beat heart disease.
For more information and to get involved please contact the BHF Events team on 0800 169 3672 or visit www.bhf.org.uk/wiltshire.