Nurses tackle marathon for cause close to their hearts

Nurses from Wellington’s Regional Heart and Lung Unit have banded together to help raise funds for a cause close to their hearts - the Heart Foundation.

Tom runningCardiac Inherited Disease Nurse Tom Donoghue says the team of 11 nurses will be taking part in the Gazley Volkswagen Wellington Marathon on Sunday 30 June to raise vital funds for the organisation that supports the work they do.

“We are all helping people on a daily basis who have had heart attacks and heart-related surgeries,” Tom says.

“As part of that process, we use the incredibly helpful Heart Foundation resources to educate and inform patients during the recovery phase.

“Working so closely with people going through cardiac events is something that is very near and dear to all of us at the unit, therefore, there was no question about getting behind the Heart Foundation in some way. The best thing we felt we could do to help was fundraise for them while completing the Wellington Marathon.”

Tom and the team decided to sign up as Heart Racers which means that they will be raising vital funds for the charity while they walk or run in the Wellington Marathon.

Having first participated in the event as a Heart Racer four years ago, Tom has been the driving force behind getting other nurses from the Wellington Regional Heart and Lung Unit involved. This year’s team is now hoping that they will gain the support and backing of friends and members of the public donating at their online Everyday Hero pages.

“Heart disease is New Zealand’s single biggest killer which means that most people will have been touched by it in some form or another, whether that’s directly or indirectly through friends and loved ones.”

As a person who helped pioneer specialist nursing in the cardiac inherited disease area, Tom hopes that the funds raised could one day be put towards creating educational resources that cover his area of expertise.

“We’re continuing to understand more and more about cardiac inherited diseases. Years ago, if a person presented to hospital with such a heart-related problem, the rest of the family wasn’t even considered. Nowadays, we work to actively include the extended family in discussions so that they can check to see if they too could have an inherited condition.”

The Gazley Volkswagen Wellington Marathon 2019 takes place on Sunday 30 June. Almost 4,000 participants from 11 countries will line up at the Westpac Stadium start line. The Heart Foundation has been the official charity for 15 years, in which time the event has raised more than $150,000 for heart health initiatives.

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