A young mum who died suddenly less than three weeks before Christmas is being remembered by her husband and four friends who are running the Belfast Marathon in her memory.
Sharleen McConville, aged 39, thought she had the flu but a few days later suffered two strokes and died in the intensive care unit of the Royal Victoria Hospital on December 6.
The Derryhale woman, who was an organ donor, left behind her husband Roy and two young daughters Abbie (10) and Ellie (6) as well as her dad Dennis and sister Tracey.
The relay team of five - who call themselves Team Shaz - are aiming to raise money for Craigavon Cardiac Care Association (CCCA).
Team member Paul Whittle, who owns Whittle’s Car Services on the Moy Road, said, “We as a group decided on CCCA as our charity of choice as Sharleen loved her local community and our aim is to raise as much money as possible in the hope to provide CCCA with money to go towards getting more defibrillators into our community which could save someone’s life further down the line.
“Sharleen was a bright, bubbly, caring lady who loved life and devoted her life to Roy, Abbie and Ellie as well as her family and friends.”
Also taking part are Jayne Stewart and husband and wife Carole and John Bell, whose children Sharleen cared for when she was working as a childminder.
In the year before her death she had worked as a dinner lady at Hardy Memorial PS in Richhill, a job she loved.
With the exception of John, the team have little to no running experience but have been training hard to meet the challenge on May 1 .
They said, “Sharleen was loved dearly by anyone lucky enough to meet her but we all know she would be laughing her socks off at us out training in all conditions.”
Team Shaz have a JustGiving page, the link to which can be found on any of the team’s Facebook pages.
There are also donation sheets circulating, including at Whittle’s garage.
Meanwhile, Sharleen’s sister Tracey Nixon is holding a charity night in aid of Chest Heart and Stroke NI tonight (Friday) in the Royal British Legion, Portadown. Tickets cost £5 and entertainment will be by DJ Braveheart.