Derry dental student Grace completes London Marathon in memory of late granny

A Derry woman was one of hundreds of British Heart Foundation (BHF) runners who took to the streets of London last weekend to conquer the TCS London Marathon and raise funds for the charity’s lifesaving research.     

So far, BHF London Marathon runners have raised nearly £2 million and rising. The money will go towards cutting-edge research into regenerative medicine, offering much-needed hope for the almost one million people living with heart failure in the UK.  

Amongst those running was 21 year old dental student, Grace Hand, from Derry, who raised an incredible £2,150. This was Grace’s first marathon and both Grace and her Dad are diabetic, which can increase your risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases.

Grace took on the iconic challenge after promising her Granny she would run it for her. Grace’s Granny sadly died last year so she ran in her memory.  

After crossing the finish line, Grace said: “Taking part in the 2022 TCS London Marathon for the Charity of the Year, the British Heart Foundation (BHF), was such a huge challenge and an incredible experience.

“The atmosphere on the day was electric and I am proud to know that by doing this, I’ve helped to raise vital funds for pioneering research into regenerative medicine, including the development of the Heart Healing Patch.   

“The research that the BHF does makes such a difference to the 7.6 million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases, so I’m doing as much as I can to support their amazing work to help fund the next big scientific breakthrough.”   

Funds raised at this year’s London Marathon will go towards cutting-edge research into regenerative medicine, including Prof Sanjay Sinha’s heart healing patch which is stem cell patches of real beating heart tissue that could be applied to damaged areas of the heart so the heart can function as it should.  

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: “The stories of why our amazing supporters take part in the TCS London Marathon never fail to amaze me. 

“It was a truly heart-warming and inspirational day cheering on Grace and all our Team BHF runners and it was even more special this time around as the BHF was the 2022 TCS London Marathon charity of the year.    

“It’s thanks to the commitment of people like Grace, that the BHF has been able to continue to fund pioneering research into regenerative medicine – including the development of a Heart Healing Patch, which could save and improve the lives of millions of people worldwide affected by heart failure.

“That’s why we are so grateful to Grace and to everyone who took part in the marathon.

“From those who fundraised, donated, volunteered and supported Team BHF on the day, you have played your part in to helping to get our ground-breaking research over the finish line even faster and we cannot thank you enough.”

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