Scaling new heights in memory of Iain

Iain Bowden
Iain Bowden
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A Wigan family are marking their late father’s 10th anniversary by climbing Scafell Pike in his memory.

Gemma Bowden and brother David will scale England’s highest mountain to commemorate a decade since dad Iain passed way.

Iain was just 40 when he died in August 2007 from a cardiac arrest, and the pair will be using the hike to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

They also want to raise awareness of the undiagnosed heart condition Iain suffered with.

Gemma, who was just 15 when she lost her dad, said: “He died very suddenly and a few weeks later we realised he had a heart condition, Arrythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia (ARVD).

“Nobody knows a lot about it, which is why they are still doing so much research into it. So we decided to mark the anniversary by raising money for the research.”

Now 25 and a mother herself, Gemma decided the best way to raise money was to take up one of Iain’s favourite past times.

“We used to go on lots of walking holidays with dad, so this was the apparent thing to do. I wanted to be in the Lakes because we have so many nice memories of being with him there.”

Gemma and David will take on Scafell Pike later this month, along with scores of friends and relatives who are travelling from as far and wide as Norway and Canada!

Gemma, from Standish, added: “It was supposed to be just me and my brother but now it’s turned into quite a big thing!”

ARVD is an inherited heart disease caused by genetic defects in the heart muscles.

It is difficult to diagnose and there are few visible symptoms.

It is common in athletes and anyone whose heart is worked more vigorously.