Teenager named in quirkiest fundraisers top ten

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A Sherwood Forest teenager has been named as one of the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) quirkiest fundraisers.

The nation’s heart charity has released a list revealing the wild and wonderful things people have done to raise money for life saving research and 16-year-old Shauna Ward made the cut.

Shauna travels all over the country with her team of five Siberian Huskies and is making a name for herself on the sled dog racing scene.

She decided to use her hobby to fundraise for the BHF as a way to give back to a cause close to her heart, after having open heart surgery when she was 12-years-old.

Shauna was born with a hole in her heart, called ventricular septal defect, and in 2013 she had open heart surgery to close the hole and remove tissue that was restricting the blood flow in her heart. Although the operation was a success, Shauna still has a leaking heart valve.

Her parents, Ian and Debbie, agreed that when Shauna got better she could begin to handle and race their Siberian Huskies. Incredibly, just six weeks after her operation, Shauna was having her first go at sled dog racing.

By taking part in the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally in Scotland, Shauna raised £365 for the nation’s heart charity.

Shauna said: “I’m so happy to be alive and healthy and able to do something that I love as much as racing with my dogs. I have always wanted to give back to the BHF, but I couldn’t find a way to do it. Then I realised the perfect way to raise money was by doing a trek.

“I had so much support from my friends, family and club mates who all donated money to me before that event. I’m so proud to have raised so much for life saving research.”

Now the BHF is encouraging others to follow in her footsteps.

Derek Kilgariff, fundraising manager for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire at the British Heart Foundation, said: “It is only because of people like Shauna that we can continue funding our life saving research into beating heart disease.

“It’s great to see all the weird and wonderful ways our fundraisers raise money, and we are so incredibly grateful for the time and effort that they put in and the people who support them.”

Get your free fundraising pack at bhf.org.uk/doyourthing.