- Denise and Gemma Wardle are taking part in the Great South Run this October
- They will be running in memory of Denise’s son and Gemma’s brother Alex who died from Sudden Arrhythmic Death syndrome last year
- As a team of around 20 people, they will be raising money for the Alex Wardle Foundation
A TEAM of 20 will be taking on a 10-mile race in memory of a student who died suddenly.
Denise and Gemma Wardle have signed up for the Great South Run to raise awareness for sudden arrhythmic death syndrome.
It follows the death of Denise’s son and Gemma’s brother Alex who collapsed and died in 2016, aged 23.
The pair will be joined by Alex’s university friends, friends from their community pub and work colleagues when they lace up their trainers for the Southsea run, on October 22.
The team will be raising money for the Alex Wardle Foundation which was set up in his memory.
Gemma, from Lee-on-the-Solent, said: ‘Alex was really interested in researching medical cases so I think he would be very proud to see us doing something positive in his memory.
‘We have been supported along the way by Cardiac Risk in the Young charity, but we really liked the idea of seeing where the money went into the community so we founded the Alex Wardle Foundation.
‘It’s been overwhelming to see so many people join us for the Great South Run.
‘It is testament to Alex to show how loved he was and how important his legacy will be.’
As previously reported in The News, Alex collapsed when answering the door to his neighbours in March last year. He was a fit and healthy rugby player and it was only after a post-mortem that his death was thought to be from sudden arrhythmic death syndrome.
His family were keen to do something to raise awareness for the condition and to continue Alex’s legacy through their charity.
Gemma, 20, added: ‘Every week in the UK, 12 people between the age of 18 and 25 die of this condition and we decided to turn our grief into something positive to raise awareness of this in Alex’s memory.’
Denise and Gemma will be joined by more than 20,000 people when they take part in the Great South Run, sponsored by Simplyhealth.
For more information on the charity visit thealexwardlefoundation.org.