A PORT charity champ is getting on his marks for a festive fun run in memory of his late father.

Joe Quinn says he can’t wait to be part of a sea of red and white when he takes part in the Glasgow Santa Dash.

The 23-year-old, who lives in Rona Avenue, will complete the 5k run in memory of his beloved dad Edward, who passed away from chronic heart disease at the age of just 36.

He said: “It was Christmas 2005 and New Year 2006 that we found out that my dad was sadly dying.

“His fight lasted just over three months and in March 2006 he died aged 36 due to left ventricular heart failure. 

“My world at such a young age was shattered, but now I’m joining the fight to make sure no one will ever go what I have went through.

“I’m now a community volunteer with the British Heart Foundation and I couldn’t be happier volunteering for the nation’s heart charity.”

Joe says he’s looking forward to the Santa dash.

He added: “It will be good fun dressing up as Santa and running.

“This is always a hard time of the year, so it will make it a little easier.

“When I do runs like this, every step I take I think about why I’m doing it, which can be quite hard but it keeps me going.”

Since losing his father, Joe has embarked on a mission to raise money and awareness of the British Heart Foundation’s work.

He added: “It doesn’t get easier, it gets harder as you grow up as I want to share my life experiences with him.

“I wish I could go to the pub with my dad or go to the football.

“But I miss out on that so I try and remember him in other ways.”

 Joe says that raising money has been a great source of comfort to him.

He said: “It’s great to raise funding and awareness of the charity.

“Since the British Heart Foundation was established, the annual number of cardiovascular disease deaths in Scotland has fallen by more than half.

“That is really good and shows how important donations are to the charity.”

His family, including mum Arlene and siblings Kieran and Jemma, say they are so proud of him.

Joe, who will take part in the event on Sunday December 10, has set up an online Just Giving page to collect donations.

To donate go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joseph-quinn-santadash