The McSorley family and friends pictured on the day of the walk.
The family of a Maghera woman who died suddenly last year have raised £12,000 in her memory in aid of British Heart Foundation Northern Ireland’s (BHF NI) life saving heart research.
Monny McSorley was just 59 years old when she passed away in April 2020, after suffering a heart attack. The grandmother was just weeks away from her 60th birthday.
Last month her four daughters Ciara, Carla, Aileen and Erin and husband Eamon organised a 24 hour walk at Watty Graham GAC. The walk, which saw each of the girls clock 95,000 steps each, raised £12,000 for BHF NI research.
Monny’s daughter Carla said: “We have been blown away by people’s kindness. The people in Maghera and at Watty Graham’s GAC really went above and beyond in supporting the event and supporting us.
"We will be forever in each of your debt and you have our sincere thanks. Special thanks to Watty Grahams GAC for all their help in making the walk a possibility.
"Thanks also to the support of local businesses Bitz and Pizza and Crawfords for providing refreshments and Tommie McGraths and Christie Print for their help with t-shirts and banners.
“Thank you so much to every single person who joined us on the walk. Any time we even thought about having a rest, more people would come along and walk with us sharing memories of mammy and taking our minds off our sore feet. .
“We each had different moments when it got really tough, but luckily we had each other to provide encouragement and see us through the challenging parts. There were definitely some blisters and sore feet the day after, but it was all worth it for mammy.”
Having lost their mum during the pandemic, this walk was very special for everyone who knew Monny.
Carla said the walk provided them with a chance to connect with those who had been unable to attend her mother's funeral or wake due to the lockdown.
“Mammy died when we had just entered our first strict lockdown here, so we weren’t able to have a normal wake or funeral," she said.
"The 24-hour walk gave us the chance to see those people who would have come along to the wake and funeral during normal times.
"It was unbelievable the amount of people who showed up to walk with us and donate to BHF NI,” she added. Monny was known and loved throughout her local community for her charity volunteering and fundraising work, as well as working closely with children with special educational needs.
Head of BHF NI, Fearghal McKinney said: “The staggering amount raised is a testament to the woman who Monny was, so well respected and loved in her community.
"With an initial target of just £1,500, they really outdid themselves, raising £10,500 more than what they had initially aimed for.
“We are extremely grateful for the support which the McSorley family and the Maghera community have given BHF NI. Choosing to support future heart research and indeed other people affected by heart disease through their event was an incredibly thoughtful thing for them to do, especially in the wake of losing someone so close to them.
“We couldn’t fund our life-saving heart and circulatory disease research without the support of families like Monny’s. When the BHF was formed seven out of 10 people died from a heart attack but thanks to the power of research now seven out of 10 people survive.
"But sadly, like Monny’s story shows, that is still too many people dying far too soon and leaving behind a devastated family. We urgently need to fund more research to save other families from this heartbreak.”
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