Harpenden man, 29, with terminal diagnosis promotes ‘Suck a Lemon’ challenge for heart failure

Jamie Willding and Massimo Di Muccio of Herts Community Trust.

Jamie Willding and Massimo Di Muccio of Herts Community Trust. - Credit: Archant

A 29-year-old Harpenden man who has been told he has a year to live is raising awareness of his heart condition by doing a bitter challenge today.

The 'Suck a Lemon' challenge is a national campaign for Heart Failure Awareness Week, which started on Monday, May 6, and runs until Sunday, May 12.

Harpenden man Jamie Wilding suffers from heart failure and has been told by his consultant he has a year to live - but won't let that stop him.

Jamie climbed to the top of the O2 recently to raise money for charity, and has set his sights on another challenge today to raise awareness.

In association with heart failure charity Pumping Marvellous, Jamie is doing a 'Suck a Lemon' challenge, a similar idea to the ice bucket challenge but where participants are filmed sucking a lemon.

After being filmed it is hoped 'suckers' will post the footage of themselves online and donate £5 to the charity.

Jamie is heading to Gossom End Community Hospital today to do his bit, together with Pumping Marvellous and a community cardiology team.

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All of the them will be doing the 'Suck a Lemon' challenge at the hospital in Berkhamsted to raise funds and awareness for people with heart failure.

Jamie, who is under the care of HCT, said: "The Suck a Lemon challenge might be a bit of fun, but it has a serious message - and that's raising awareness of the silent killer that is heart failure."

Almost a million people in the UK are living with the life-limiting condition heart failure, with one death every three minutes caused by heart and circulatory disease.

Carys Barton, clinical and operational lead for community cardiology at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust, said: "This is a national campaign for a huge charity and we're privileged to be chosen as one of the few sites in the UK they are attending. Pumping Marvellous are only visiting a few tertiary centres, not community ones, so as a community trust, again we are quite privileged."

To find out more about the challenge visit: https://pumpingmarvellous.org/get-involved/suck-a-lemon-challenge.

Feel inspired? Post your videos on Twitter mentioning @hertsad and @pumpinghearts using the hashtag #SuckaLemonChallenge - and don't forget to donate!