Inspirational family all heart for charity

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The family of young girl from Mirfield who underwent a lifesaving heart transplant are preparing to take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge.

Laura Whitworth, 11, was born with a rare heart condition and was airlifted to London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2007 where surgeons saved her life aged two.

Now her dad Andrew and sister Lucie, 13, will climb mountains Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough to raise money for Heart Research UK on June 18.

They have taken part in the challenge for the past two years to fundraise so the charity can help others like Laura.

Mr Whitworth, 47, said: “We have really enjoyed our Three Peaks experience and we shall be back for some more this year.

“It is a fantastic day out for the family and an enjoyable challenge for any walker, one which you will remember for a long time.

“The more awareness we can raise for heart research the better and taking part in the walk is a great way to fundraise.”

The pair took part in the charity’s Valleys Walk below Pen-y-ghent last year, before compelting the full 25 miles of the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.

Laura’s heart condition wasn’t diagnosed until she was 21 months, when doctors discovered she had dilated cardiomyopathy - a form of heart disease where the organ is englarged.

Specialists at Leeds General Infirmary arranged for her to be airlifted to London, where she was linked up to a Berlin mechanical heart device until her transplant could take place.

The charity is calling on walkers, hikers and families of all ages and abilities to take part in its Three Peaks Challenge this year.

The challenge is part of the charity’s Day in the Dales festival in June, which is organised in partnership with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Three Peaks Project.

Cash raised during the event will help in the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease as well as improving and maintaining the footpath network in the Three Peaks area.

The challenge costs £25 to register and follows a walk which climbs Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.

Although it is not a race, the official challenge is to complete all three in less than 12 hours.

For more information, or to register for the challenge, visit www.heartresearch.org.uk