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Nurses tackle marathon for cause close to their hearts

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

Tom runningCardiac Inherited Disease Nurse Tom Donoghue and the team of 11 nurses will be took 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.”

Having first participated in the event as a Heart Racer four years ago, Tom was the driving force behind getting other nurses from the Wellington Regional Heart and Lung Unit involved.

Tom and the team signed up as Heart Racers again this year and together they raised vital funds for the Heart Foundation, with support from 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.”

Almost 4,000 enthusiastic participants from 11 countries took part in the Gazley Volkswagen Wellington Marathon 2019, which took place on Sunday 30 June.

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.