A YORKSHIRE lass who took Staffordshire and its people into her heart is putting her best foot forward to raise awareness of illnesses that can cause a sudden death in young people.
“He was only 28, the age I am now,” said Gemma. “It was a huge shock and was such a difficult time for the family and sort of threw mine and my partner’s relationship into an unexpected whirlwind trying to deal and come to terms with his and his family’s loss, especially as our relationship was in its infancy.”
Gemma said the young couple were supported through the sudden bereavement by Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) and since then she has dedicated her time to raising awareness for the charity.
Sudden cardiac death affects 12 people under 35 every week in the UK.
“They were such magnificent help,” Gemma said. “When I run, I think of the family and what they have been through and I think of Chris who lost his life so young. It really does mean the world to me.”
Gemma, who works for Staffordshire County Council and lives in Swynnerton, is currently in training to run the London Marathon, but isn’t stopping there.
“I’ve also signed up to run the Stafford 20 and Stafford Half Marathon in March, and I’m possibly going to do the Katharine House Hill challenge in February too,” she said. “I’m also currently taking part in a challenge called ‘Janathon’ which is to ‘Jog and Blog’ every day throughout January.”
Gemma said she was hoping to arrange a charity night prior to the marathon and urged anyone who thought they might be able to contribute or get involved to contact her on gemma.butterfield@ hotmail.co.uk.