Community invited to walk a mile with fundraiser preparing to take on London Marathon in memory of best friend

A woman is preparing to go not just the extra mile, but an extra 26, in memory of her best friend who died from an undiagnosed heart condition at the age of just 33.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Michaela Flaherty, 35, will be running the London Marathon later this month for the British Heart Foundation to support their research and development programmes and is asking the community to come together and help her on this epic challenge.

She is running for her friend-since-school, mum-of-four Rachel Kilbourne, from Brighouse, who lost her life suddenly in December 2022.

Read More
Looking back: 32 photos that will take you right back to 1970s in Halifax and Ca...
Michaela Flaherty in her British Heart Foundation top for the London MarathonMichaela Flaherty in her British Heart Foundation top for the London Marathon
Michaela Flaherty in her British Heart Foundation top for the London Marathon
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Following Rachel’s death, her parents, three sisters and four daughters have all been tested for the condition, possible thanks to British Heart Foundation funded genetic research.

Over £3,000 has already been generously donated to Michaela’s fundraising ahead of the 26.2 mile marathon on April 21.

But she wants to raise as much as possible so is inviting everyone here to join her to ‘Walk a Mile With Me’ the week before, on April 14.

Marking the end of her training, she would like people to walk one mile with her around Bailiff Bridge – setting off from the Memorial Gardens at 1.30pm and then finishing at Bailiff Bridge Community Centre.

Michaela Flaherty (right) with best friend Rachel Kilbourne (left)Michaela Flaherty (right) with best friend Rachel Kilbourne (left)
Michaela Flaherty (right) with best friend Rachel Kilbourne (left)
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Following the walk, everyone is also invited to join her there between 2pm and 6pm when there will be refreshments, a bake sale, raffle and more.

Michaela, who is from Huddersfield, said: “There hasn’t been a single day gone by since Rachel died that I don’t think of her, so submitting the application and writing a reason why I wanted to run in her memory was easy. The hard part was making the decision to accept the place when I found out I was successful.

“The challenge I am facing is nothing though compared to the challenge her family has faced.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I hope to show my support for them, and for research into heart conditions, by taking on the London Marathon and raising as much money as possible.”

Rachel’s sister, Leah Burke, said: “We can’t thank Michaela enough for her incredible support – both to us as a family over the past few really hard months, but also for taking on this amazing challenge and raising money to support the British Heart Foundation.”