A MOTHER is embarking on a fundraising drive in memory of a relative who tragically died of an unknown heart condition.

Holly Parkin, from Dorchester, wants to raise ‘as much as possible’ to prevent other families experiencing ‘what we have gone through’.

Her cousin Jake, who lived in London, died earlier this year, leaving behind two young children.

Holly said: “I can’t take away the pain for my family, but I can try to raise the profile of the British Heart Foundation and the great work they do, from groundbreaking research to superb patient care.”

A Christmas concert will kick-start the venture, with Dorset choir La Nova Singers performing this Sunday at St Mary’s Church in Edward Road, Dorchester. The event, from 3pm to 5pm, includes a raffle and refreshments, and tickets cost £12, from Dorchester Tourist Information Centre. For every adult guest, a child goes free.

Holly, a health professional, said: “Jake has two children, aged nine and 11, and they are just incredible. Within eight weeks they were taking part in a sponsored cycle to raise money for the same charity, and did really well.

“This is my way of doing my bit.”

Holly, who has two children of her own – five-year-old Ethan and three-year-old Niamh – will also undertake the 2013 London Marathon.

She said: “I ran it in April in aid of spinal research, after undergoing spinal surgery, and after crossing the finish line, I said I would never do it again.

"I had shin splints and injuries to my knee and back. But six days later, Jake died.”

Her cousin has been an ‘inspiration’ when training has been tough, she added.

“It’s not easy when you work all day, and have two young children, and it’s raining and dark, to motivate yourself to go out and practise.

“I’m excited about it, because it is such an amazing atmosphere when you are there, but at the same time, I’m quite apprehensive.

“My friends and family, including the kids, have been really supportive, and that makes a difference.”

She added: “This is a really important charity to my family, so I’m determined to help them.”