This time next week I’ll be in a hotel in London preparing for the marathon which will be the very next day. It may seem surprising but since I was told not to run the marathon I’ve not really thought about the event itself, I’ve been much more focused on the fundraising and awareness, making sure that I use this opportunity to get as many people as possible to get their hearts checked and sign up for organ donation. The good news is, it’s working. We’ve raised our target of £5000 and the PR has been going really well. Of course I want to raise more and get even more PR!
Sophie my PR friend has done an amazing job of sharing my story and subsequently I’ve been interviewed by The Surrey Advertiser (out this week), Elmbridge Guardian, Oxford Journal, Harefield Gazette and The Daily Mail. It’s been a super weird experience being interviewed about such personal things, especially talking in detail about what Jack went through with his transplant. It’s paid off though. I’ve had lots of contact from people with cardiomyopathy, people that have very sadly lost loved ones because of heart conditions like cardiomyopathy and various charities who are pleased to have more coverage of this subject out there. So I’m going to keep going as long as it lasts.
As you may have read in the coverage, I’m really passionate about heart screening in young people and want to tell you about the brilliant work of a charity called Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY). They do free ECGs for anyone between 14 and 35 across the UK. If you anyone you know suffers from any heart symptoms at all; breathlessness, palpitations, water retention – especially when exercising, please speak to your GP or book in for an ECG with CRY. Around 12 young people die of possibly preventable heart defects every week, if they’d been screened their condition could have been managed, like mine is. I’ve spent 2 days this week wearing an ECG monitor (right). I’ve had to sleep with it on, go to work and attempt a run in it too. The Doctor’s are just watching how my palpitations change over this time to see how serious they are. I should get the results next week. It’s obvious but I’m going to say it – without my screening I wouldn’t have these tests or the drugs that I’m on and I’d be in much more danger than I am now. Get screened if you’re worried.
So now it’s time to focus on the main event as it creeps up! I need to get in the zone and start to imagine walking the marathon patiently, it taking 7 hours (not the planned 4!) with me and mum wearing our t-shirts declaring our dodgy hearts (below).
No matter what, I know that it’s going to be an amazing event with thousands of people taking part for thousands of special reasons and I can’t wait to be part of it again!