A FORMER Dunfermline woman is setting foot on a marathon challenge to fund a defibrillator at her old high school.

Debbie McEvoy, 36, will run the Brighton Marathon next month for SADS UK.

She was spurred into action following the tragic death of her best friend's partner, Stephen Holland, who passed away suddenly last year at the age of 47.

After discussing ways she could help with best pal Nadia Hernadez, Debbie decided to sign up for the marathon to help the charity who will help them provide at least one life-saving defibrillator which they hope will be located at the community sporting facilities at Dunfermline High.

"Nadia is my best friend from school. We both went to Dunfermline High School and have known each other for a long time," she said. "I wanted to try and do something to help and raise awareness and this is that something.

"I am not new to running. I have been doing it for a long time and I have done a few kind of races. I do half marathons but I have only done one other marathon before which was the London marathon five years ago so it is a bit of a personal challenge for me.

"On top of that I thought it would be good to raise awareness of defibrillators after what happened to Stephen."

The cardiac charity SADS UK aims to save lives, providing information, funding research and medical equipment to prevent premature sudden cardiac death.

As well as supporting its work, the money raised by Debbie and Nadia's efforts in Stephen's memory will help pay for at least one public access defibrillator in the town.

A defibrillator can deliver an electric shock to try to restore a normal heart rhythm and bring the casualty back from the dead.

Fall victim to a cardiac arrest – and 30,000 people do each year in the UK – and the vital spark from the small, portable device can be the difference between life and death.

"You have to raise £1000 to get a defib," explained Nadia. "Debbie is currently up to £1700 so we have already got enough for one.

"Myself and three friends, Lisa Barrett, Abbie Reid and Leah Mitchell are doing a raffle and we have had prizes donated from a lot of local businesses.

"We all work for the same company and my work do a match fund so whatever we raise through the raffle, they will give us up to £500 each.

"Essentially we have got enough for one at Dunfermline High and we are on our way to getting another for somewhere else in Dunfermline."

Physiotherapist Debbie will take on the Brighton marathon on April 10 and is already considering her next challenge – possibly the West Highland Way – to help raise further funds and awareness.

"My training is going," she added. "It has been a bit tough. Like with a lot of people, just getting back into a routine has been a bit of an effort but I am feeling quite comfortable.

"I am doing a lot of strength stuff and am just coming to the tail end of it now. I will do another couple of weeks then back off to rest before the race."

Anyone wanting to add to the fundraising total can do so by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/debbie-mcevoy4.