Suck a Lemon Challenge 2019

heart failure sucks



Preston (plus 34 other stops around the UK!), 7 May 2019: Hitting the M6 today is a bright yellow van to drive awareness of just how much ‘heart failure sucks’ this Heart Failure Awareness Week (6-12 May).

Driver Nick, diagnosed with heart failure in 2010 and founder of the UK’s only heart failure patient-led charity, the Pumping Marvellous Foundation, is gearing up to tour 35 towns and cities at high risk of heart failure, as well as leading heart centres and landmarks up and down the UK to kick off a grassroots awareness campaign.

Locals will be rallied by Nick and his Marvellous team, who will have their fruit bag in tow, to take on the ‘Suck a Lemon Challenge’.

The Reach of Heart Failure

Heart failure is an increasingly common long-term condition affecting almost one million Britons; it can occur at any age but is most common in over-65s. It can be the result of other conditions, but ultimately means the heart’s ability to pump blood around the body is reduced, which can have a significant impact on life expectancy. Symptoms such as fatigue and breathlessness affect the quality of life of people with heart failure, making the simple tasks that many of us take for granted, such as showering, much more of a challenge. Heart failure is debilitating and outcomes are poor; five-year survival rate is worse than breast or prostate cancer.

Nick Hartshorne-Evans, CEO and founder of the Pumping Marvellous Foundation said, “It has long been a dream of mine to drive a van across the UK, bringing heart failure awareness directly to individuals in every corner of the country. Through the ‘Suck a Lemon Challenge we are using a bit of humour to get a serious message heard. There’s been a great response already and I’m excited to get more of the public involved.”

Pumping Marvellous Patient Educator, Dan Smith, who has heart failure, commented; “When I was diagnosed with heart failure, it was hard to explain what it actually feels like to my family and friends. I’m not just being lazy or slow and rationalising this time and time again can be tiring. Heart failure sucks but having such a supportive community and dedicated charity has really helped me to keep positive and focus on what I am able to do – this is what this campaign is all about.”

The ‘Suck a Lemon Challenge’ was the brainchild of heart failure patient Michelle Lawrence Wade to demonstrate, in her words, “that heart failure sucks.” To join in, contenders must film themselves biting into the bitter fruit saying, “I’m taking the ‘Suck a Lemon Challenge’ because heart failure sucks!” and share the video on social media with the hashtag #SuckALemonChallenge and #HeartFailureSucks. Alternatively, the public can visit the touring ‘Suck a Lemon Challenge’ van when it visits a nearby town and take part.

Professor Martin Cowie, Consultant Cardiologist, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, praised the campaign, “Heart failure can be a devastating condition, but the Pumping Marvellous Foundation not only provides real hope to the patient community, but also meaningful tools which are spearheading positive change in the way we view and manage the condition. This campaign is literally putting heart failure on the map.”

Is the ‘Suck a Lemon’ van on its way to your town? Come say hello and take part in the challenge in the following towns!












Gretna Green






London (multiple















If you have any questions or would like to meet the team touring with the ‘Suck a Lemon’

van, contact:

Chloé Fox

Project Director, Cello Health

07741 894 520

Holly Joscelyne

Project Executive, Cello Health

07342 975 550

Notes to editors

About the Pumping Marvellous Foundation

The Pumping Marvellous Foundation is the UK’s only patient-led heart failure charity. It was founded by a heart failure patient, Nick Hartshorne-Evans, whose experiences whilst rehabilitating has shaped the Foundation’s goals and principles of a patient-centric charity focused on improved patient outcomes. The Foundation advocates for consistent treatment and care across the UK and works to improve speed and efficiency of diagnosis to enable better outcomes for patients.

About heart failure

Heart failure affects around 920,000 people in the UK, it can occur at any age but is most common in older people. It is a long-term chronic condition that can often worsen overtime, however while it cannot be cured, with treatment and lifestyle changes, many people are able to live a good quality of life. Heart failure can be a result of other conditions, but ultimately the heart’s ability to pump blood around the body is reduced, resulting in symptoms such as fatigue and breathlessness.

Visit for further info.

More information about heart failure? 

Watch patients and experts talk about heart failure on our  YouTube Channel

Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and grab a cookie and listen to patients and experts talk about heart failure on our Podcasts

Just for patients and carers looking for help with living their life better with heart failure join our community

Posted Under: Heart failure, Heart failure charity, Heart failure diagnostics, Heart failure symptons, Heart failure treatment, Heart News, Press Release