Kerri-ann Hope may only be 38 but a genetic heart issue has meant she’s had two pacemakers installed in the past 13 years.
Diagnosed in 2010 with left ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy, Kerri-ann has had two pacemakers installed.
For now though, she’s not letting it stop her and has signed up to ride this year’s QSuper Cardiac Challenge, with her doctor’s permission.
“Most cardiologists won’t come across someone like me during their whole career so I guess I’m pretty special,” Mrs Hope said.
Diagnosed at the Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane, Mrs Hope counts herself lucky that a young technician performing her contrast echocardiogram “saw something odd” but is now grateful to come under the care of Cairns Hospital cardiologist Dr Greg Starmer.
“I had my first automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator in 2013 and my second in 2020 and if it were not for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation and all of the work they do, I would not be able to live in Cairns, I would have had to have stayed permanently in Brisbane.
“I have several family members with different types of heart disease and genetic abnormalities that like myself would quite literally not be alive had it not been for all of the Foundation’s tireless work to get the right staff and the right lifesaving equipment up here.
“I am now a mum of 3 boys, I love my cycling having gotten into it about a year ago, I live a very active life with martial arts, cycling, weight-lifting and exploring our great outdoors with my children. I am hoping to raise $100K so the Foundation can further improve heart services in the Far North and fund more remote clinics to help diagnose and treat things like rheumatic heart disease in our First Nations Peoples.
Foundation Fundraising and Marketing Manager Glenys Duncombe said Kerri-ann’s story was shocking but inspiring at the same time.
“You just don’t realise, until people like Kerri-ann come out of the woodwork, what sort of difficulties people in our society face. Our role is to do what we can to help improve their lot in life through better technology and research for our clinicians. Kudos to Kerri-ann for saddling up to help others in a similar situation,” Ms Duncombe said.
The partnership with QSuper, part of Australian Retirement Trust, enables 100 percent of funds raised in the QSuper Cardiac Challenge to support the purchase of state-of-the-art medical equipment in the region. Australian Retirement Trust Chief Executive Officer Bernard Reilly said, “Australian Retirement Trust is passionate about supporting our members and the community, including in rural and remote areas where we have a strong heritage.”
“It’s incredibly rewarding for us to see the impact the funds raised for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation have on increasing access to vital health services in these communities,” Mr Reilly said. “The QSuper Cardiac Challenge is a great example of the community coming together to improve the outcomes of those in the region. This year is also special for Australian Retirement Trust, as we have a team participating for the first time. We look forward to cheering them, and all of the other participants on,” he said.
Registrations for the QSuper Cardiac Challenge, September 16-18, are open until July 31 at
Australian Retirement Trust, through the QSuper Cardiac Challenge, shares the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation’s passion for providing quality healthcare to regions that would otherwise need to travel hundreds of kilometres to receive life-saving care.
•    Register for the QSuper Cardiac Challenge at before July 31.
•    Support Kerri-ann Hope’s fundraising at: