Running in Stuart’s Memory

Jo Hirst
Jo Hirst

A Beverley woman who lost her younger brother to asthma is preparing to take part in the Great North run to raise money in his memory.

Jo Hirst, a probation officer, will be raising money for Asthma UK when she runs the world’s biggest half marathon on Sunday September 16.

Stuart Hirst

Stuart Hirst

Jo is running in memory of her brother Stuart Kiddle, who died in 2008 when he was just 34.

Stuart had been living abroad working for an oil company, but had returned to the UK to visit family at the time of his death. He died the same day he landed back in the UK after having an asthma attack.

Jo (40), said she didn’t think her brother was aware of how serious asthma could be, and it was something he didn’t talk about very often.

“He hadn’t had an attack for 10 years before he died and he hadn’t been hospitalised since he was a child. He was very ill as a toddler with his asthma but it had irmpved by the time he was eight or nine. Before Stu died I never knew ashma could be fatal and that an attack could come on out of the blue.”

Jo said that taking part in the 13-mile run is a good way of remembering her brother, who would have loved to see her complete it.

“I’m doing it to raise money for other people who have been affected by asthma to make their lives easier. It also helps me to feel like I’m giving something back in Stu’s memory. He’s not coming back but hopefully we can help the lives of other people with asthma,” she said.

Jo will be joined by four friends and she says they are taking part not only to support her and remember Stuart, but also on behalf of other people who have asthma.

Helen Olszowska, head of events at Asthma UK, said: “We will be cheering Jo on as she takes part in the Great North Run in memory of her brother. She is among Asthma UK’s 300 brave supporters taking on the challenge. Their hard work has a great purpose because they will collectively raise more than £100,000 for the charity, which will help the 5.4 million people living with asthma in the UK.”

Anyone wishing to support Jo can visit