Lanarkshire PT to lead team of 12 at this year’s Kiltwalk in memory of late dad who suffered stroke and heart attack

A Lanarkshire personal trainer will lead a team of 12 in this year’s Kiltwalk in memory of her late dad.

Jo Martin sadly lost her father John Small after he died suddenly in October last year, aged 69.

But the 45-year-old from Strathaven is determined to raise vital funds for Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS) to honor him in the coming weeks.

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John was a keen supporter of the charity because of the conditions the charity supports and because of the help offered to people in Scotland.

He had also been affected by all of the conditions CHSS support – suffering from a stroke in 1999, a heart attack in 2001, and later emphysema.

His daughter Jo will now lead her dozen-strong fundraising team made up of friends and clients to join her on the Kiltwalk in Glasgow on April 24.

The PT says she wants to make her dad proud in her charitable drive.

She told Lanarkshire Live: “Dad died unexpectedly in October.

Jo Martin

“He was 69, and the funeral took place on what would have been his 70th birthday in November.

“It was very tough for all of us and for my mum, Christine, but we wanted something positive to come from this. We put a JustGiving link on his In Memoriam of him and asked people to donate to Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland because it was a charity so close to dad’s heart.

“He’d always been a big supporter of what they do, partly because he had been affected by all the conditions CHSS supports. He had a stroke in 1999, followed by a heart attack and he also suffered from emphysema.

“After the funeral, I wanted to do something more. So I did a Facebook collection on my own birthday, then we hosted a Zoom quiz at Christmas with clients.

“But the Kiltwalk is the big one – we hope to have a team of a dozen doing the 26-mile walk plus another group doing the Wee Wander with kids.”

Jo, husband Barry, and their two children– Alba, 10, and eight-year-old Daniel, will all be involved on the day with the youngsters doing the shorter Kiltwalk event.

Also as inspiration for the 26-mile walk, Jo told of how her parents were great role models for fitness.

She added: “When I was a kid, they used to take us walking holidays in the Highlands. After his heart attack in 2001, both of my parents stopped smoking and got seriously back into hill walking.

“In fact, up until last summer when dad contracted pneumonia, they were still walking six miles a day.

“We haven’t set a target yet for how much we want to raise, but we know that every penny will be put to good use. I’ve never done the Kiltwalk before, but I am really looking forward to the event.

“And when we put on our kilts and little bit of tartan for the Kiltwalk, I’ll be thinking of dad and all those Highland holidays.”

Hayley Simpson from CHSS told us: “We’re delighted to have Jo and the team’s support. Jo’s dad was a great supporter of the charity and it’s very special to have Jo fundraising in his memory of him now.

“It’s thanks to supporters like Jo and her late father John that we’re able to help people and their families across Scotland who have been affected by chest, heart and stroke conditions.”

You can help Jo raise funds for CHSS by donating at her JustGiving page.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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