Putting their best foot forward for Diane

Friends of a young Lewis woman, who died after a cardiac arrest, are taking on a charity challenge in her memory, to raise money for life saving research into heart disease.

By John A. MacInnes
Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 8:30 am
Janice Ann (L) and Diane Morrison
Janice Ann (L) and Diane Morrison

Diane Morrison from Stornoway was just 25 when she died in August 2012. Now one of her best friends, Janice Ann Anderson, has signed up to take part in this year’s virtual Kiltwalk in support of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) on 23-25 April.

“It was just the worst news ever to receive,” recalls Janice Ann, who is 33 and lives in Carloway. “Diane was a fit, young woman and there was no warning at all. We were all just devastated.”

Following Diane’s death, Janice Ann and friends set up a local fundraising group for the BHF in Lewis and Harris. They’ve been continuing their efforts during lockdown and in just a few weeks’ time, Janice Ann and her husband Billy will take on the virtual Kiltwalk – walking 26.2 miles in one day from their home to Stornoway and back. The couple have been training walking locally every day to help them complete the challenge.

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Heart and circulatory diseases cause around 50 deaths each day in Scotland and across the country an estimated 700,000 people are living with the daily burden of these conditions.

Janice Ann adds: “We want to do everything we can to spare others the heartbreak of losing a loved one and to help raise as much money as we can to fund the BHF’s vital research.”

Janice Ann’s efforts come at a critical time for the BHF and the charity is hoping to encourage its biggest ever team of fundraisers to sign up for the virtual Kiltwalk. The last 12 months have been the hardest in the BHF’s 60-year history. The Covid-19 crisis has had a devastating impact on its income and as a result, research funding had to be cut in half this year, putting future life saving discoveries at risk.

James Jopling, Head of BHF Scotland, said: “Our research in Scotland and across the UK to help save and improve lives is only made possible thanks to wonderful supporters like Janice Ann, and we need the public’s support now more than ever.

To sign up to BHF Scotland’s Kiltwalk team, you can find more details at www.thekiltwalk.co.uk/events

Visit www.bhf.org.uk for more information.