Joanne joins dance for British Heart Foundation

A FORMER heart patient is urging hundreds of people to feel the beat for charity by taking part in a mass “zumbathon.”

Mum of two Joanne Ward, of Kiveton Park, decided to join a bid raise funds for the British Heart Foundation as a tribute to the medical staff who helped her after she suffered a heart attack.

She has signed up to take part in the BHF’s latest event, dubbed the Sheffield Zumbathon, at Don Valley Stadium next Sunday (July 10).

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Joanne (36), suffered a heart attack four days after giving birth to her son, Tyler, and was left with a severely damaged heart.

She also suffers from angina, breathlessness and palpitations and is undergoing some base line tests for a possible cardiac transplant.

In April 2005, Joanne underwent an emergency double heart bypass, but she is rebuilding her life with her husband Darren, and her two sons, Callum (14) and Tyler (now six).

Earlier this year, she was  chosen as the face of the BHF’s Mending Broken Hearts Appeal and featured in a TV advert, which brought her face-to-face with a zebrafish—a species which can renew its heart.

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The appeal’s main aim is to help doctors literally mend “broken” hearts in as little as ten years’ time through advances in research and treatment but to do that they will rely heavily on donations.

Joanne hopes to attract help boost the appeal total by attracting 1,000 people to join the zumbathon, which will cost £5 to enter and be led by specialist instructors.

She said: “After a heart attack you live life on a knife edge. 

“Now that I know the zebrafish can heal its own heart, I know there is hope for hearts like mine too. 

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“Please join me and thousands more at Don Valley on the BHF’s 50th birthday to celebrate hope and have a whole lot of fun trying out the Zumba phenomenon.”

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