Heart patient backs MyMarathon challenge to fund lifesaving research

23 March 2016        

Gemma Bosanko poses with young girl in hospital

A dedicated fundraiser who had a pacemaker fitted in her 20s is supporting our new MyMarathon challenge to help fund life saving research and accelerate the fight against heart disease. 

Gemma Bosanko, from Cumbria, was just 22 when she had to have a pacemaker fitted after doctors diagnosed her with neuro cardiogenic syncope. The condition is caused when the heart beats so slowly that blood supply to the brain is reduced, inducing seizures. 

Gemma’s heart was pausing for up to 28 seconds at a time, causing her to have fits. Now, since being fitted with a pacemaker to regulate her heartbeat, Gemma is fighting fit and supporting the fight against heart disease. 

Since her diagnosis, Gemma has run the Great North Run three times each time raising money for our vital research. Now aged 29, Gemma is backing our new MyMarathon challenge this May. 

Gemma said: “Having a heart condition has had a huge effect on my life. At first I was distraught, especially being so young and active to have a pacemaker fitted, but now I feel completely different. My pacemaker is what has kept me alive. 

“My story shows just how heart disease can affect anyone, at any age. That’s why it’s so important for me to support the BHF, and help fund the research that could lead to new treatments and save lives.”

Take on our MyMarathon challenge

With MyMarathon you can complete the 26.2-mile challenge in your own time, whether it’s over 4 hours, 4 days or 4 weeks - you decide the place and you decide the pace.   

Every pound raised from MyMarathon will help us fulfill our ambition to fund half a billion pounds of new research in the next five years, to revolutionise and accelerate the fight against heart disease. 

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