Heartbeats for Xav - Gold Coast Marathon festival
Sunday, 19 February 2023

 Xavier O'Grady (OR2019)

Xavier O'Grady (OR19), died on 2 October 2022 from sudden cardiac arrest. He had completed the Melbourne half marathon. Xavier was an extremely fit young man having just played a season of colts rugby and had a run a half marathon in Victoria earlier in 2022. Our family are struggling to understand how and why this happened. An autopsy was undertaken. Unfortunately, however, Xavier’s autopsy declared the cause of his death to be “unascertainable”. Xavier’s death has been absolutely devastating for our family. Our hearts are broken.

To honour Xavier’s memory, our family has decided to raise funds towards supporting the research of Professor Chris Semsarian AM. We are aiming to raise at least $500,000. Professor Semsarian is a world-leading expert in investigating and researching the phenomenon of fit young people (particularly males) dying of sudden cardiac arrest. This research is undertaken through the Centenary Institute’s Agnes Ginges Centre for Molecular Cardiology. 

Every year around 30,000 Australians die from sudden cardiac death and, disturbingly, around 4 young Australians (between 15 and 35) die each week. Xavier was one of these young Australians. Our hope is that the research that is able to be undertaken by Professor Semsarian from the funds we raise will save other families from having to experience a similar tragedy.

Gold Coast Marathon festival

In support of this campaign, “Heartbeats for Xav” (@heartbeatsforxav), our family has decided to participate in the Gold Coast marathon weekend to be held on the 1st and 2nd of July this year. Xavier’s dad, Patrick, will run the marathon with Xavier’s mum, Alison, and his sisters, Gabriella and Annaliese, also participating in events over the weekend. If you wish to join our family and also participate, events include the marathon, a half marathon, a 10km and a 5km. You can also join our “Heartbeats for Xav” team (link below) and individually fundraise. See further information about participating below.

What can you do?

Please support us in honouring Xavier and raising money in his name by doing the following.

1.       Please donate. Donations are tax deductible. The link to the Centenary Institute donation page is here https://www.centenary.org.au/heartbeats-for-xav/. If you wish to make donations other than by way of credit card, please contact Xavier’s dad, Patrick, (pf.ogrady@outlook.com) as this can be arranged.

2.       Please tap into your broader networks (professional and personal) to obtain support for this fundraising activity. We are happy for this email to be forwarded/amended as you see fit.

3.       Please follow us on Instagram on our fundraising journey as we head towards the GC marathon weekend @heartbeatsforxav

Participating at the Gold Coast Marathon weekend

Registrations open on 15 February. If a participant registers before the end of May, the participant can request a name on their bib. We are asking everyone who participates in an event at the Gold Coast Marathon weekend to have Xavier’s name on their bib.

If you are interested in participating in one of the events, please:

1.       register (https://goldcoastmarathon.com.au/enter/);

2.       request that Xavier’s name be on your bib;

3.       join the “Heartbeats for Xav” team (https://goldcoastmarathon23.grassrootz.com/centenary/heartbeats-for-xav); and

4.       let Xavier’s dad, Patrick, know which event you have entered by emailing him at (pf.ogrady@outlook.com).

Please help

Help us keep Xavier’s heart beating in his memory. We do not want any other family to have to experience the unbearable grief and pain that our family and I are going through.

Best regards

Patrick, Alison, Gabriella and Annaliese O'Grady