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Family of Joe Burns raise over £3,000 in his memory

TOP TEAM: 38 members of Joe’s family and friends raised £3,100 from this year’s Belfast Marathon efforts TOP TEAM: 38 members of Joe’s family and friends raised £3,100 from this year’s Belfast Marathon efforts
By Conor McParland

THE family of a popular barman at The Chester have surpassed the £10,000 mark in their fundraising efforts to keep his memory alive.
Joe Burns died suddenly five years ago in July 2014, aged just 23 after collapsing at his parent’s home.
Joe was a fit and healthy boxer who trained regularly at the gym.
Tragically, the day after his death, his girlfriend Sinead discovered she was pregnant with their daughter Bella who is now four-years-old.
Soon after Joe’s death, his family learned Joe’s mum Una and sister Jeanette both carry the faulty gene for Long QT, an inherited condition that can cause heart rhythm disturbances. Left undiagnosed, it can cause sudden death where someone has an unexpected cardiac arrest.
Every year since, Joe’s family and friends take part in the annual Belfast Marathon, with all proceeds going towards the British Heart Foundation who use the money to fund research into silent heart conditions.
This year, 38 members of Joe’s family and friends raised £3,100 from their Marathon efforts. Their recent fundraising efforts have brought their overall total since Joe’s death to an amazing £10,000 for the charity.
Joe’s sister Jeanette O’Neill said: “This is the third year we have taken part in the Belfast Marathon for the BHF in Joe’s memory. Each year we just keep getting bigger and better with more people from our community getting involved through the full marathon, fun run and relay.
“When Joe died our family was absolutely devastated. He was a real character and everyone knew him. He made such a big impact on so many people and it’s amazing that so many of his friends are still so supportive and want to help our fundraising efforts.
“We don’t want what happened to our family to happen to any other family so that’s why we fundraise for the BHF because their research into conditions like Long QT are making such a big difference.”
Jeanette said they have been overwhelmed by the support from their local community since Joe’s death.
“Friends and family have just been fantastic. We are also hugely grateful to the Thunderdome in Glengormley for hosting a buffet for Joe’s runners after the marathon. It gave us a chance to get together after the event and share stories about Joe. It was so lovely.”

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