A heart transplant patient is walking the Fife coastline as part of a 5,000-mile trek around Britain to help raise £100,000 for the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) life saving research.
Kieran Sandwell, 45, from Hertfordshire is taking on the incredible challenge, called “Trail of Two Hearts”, to mark the end of his long battle with heart disease after having a heart transplant eight years ago.
After setting off on Wednesday 1st February from the British Heart Foundation office in London, Kieran’s incredible journey will now see him walking the Fife coast. Kieran crossed the border into Scotland on 28th of March and is set to arrive in Fife on 3rd April. Along the way he will be visiting Aberdour, Kirkcaldy, Earlsferry, Crail, St Andrews and Tayport.
Kieran is calling on the public to support him on his journey by helping him raise £100,000 for the BHF’s life saving research, and bringing new hope to the seven million people like him living with heart and circulatory disease in the UK.
In Fife alone, nearly 48,000 people are living with heart and circulatory disease.
Speaking about his challenge, Kieran said: “The inspiration for my challenge came to me around 25 years ago, but then it was only something I could dream of because of my health.
“Walking the coast of Scotland will be the toughest part of this challenge to date. What I’m looking forward to most is meeting some new Scottish friends who I hope will keep me company along the way.
“My second heart has enabled me to do so much and I’m urging the public to help me support the BHF’s ground-breaking research by sponsoring me or walking with me.”
Kieran’s battle with heart disease began when he was just three years old, when he had to have open heart surgery to correct a condition called transposition of the great arteries (TGA) where the main arteries in the heart are ‘plumbed’ back to front.
Then when Kieran was 13 he suffered a heart attack and during his early twenties he also suffered two mini strokes and began having abnormal heart rhythms. By the time he reached 35, he was in heart failure and he was put on the transplant list for a new heart.
In July 2009, Kieran received his new heart and donated his old heart for BHF-funded research into congenital heart disease which has contributed to important findings and helped others living with conditions like his. Now the money he raises on this incredible journey around Britain will help fund even more life saving research.
Lisa Stafford, BHF Scotland Fundraising Manager for Fife, Argyll & Bute said: “We never cease to be amazed by the incredible way our fundraisers raise money for our research, but Kieran’s coastline challenge is one of the biggest we’ve ever seen.
“We are so incredibly grateful for his determination and dedication to supporting our work and we’re behind him every step of the way!
“Cardiovascular disease causes more than a quarter (27 per cent) of all deaths in Scotland, or nearly 16,000 deaths each year. We urgently need more people to join our fight for every heartbeat and help fund our life saving research, so if Kieran has inspired you please do help power his steps and donate!”
Berghaus, the outdoor clothing and equipment brand, are supporting Kieran on his walk by providing clothing including a waterproof jacket and warm winter-wear.
To support Kieran on his journey and find out how you can get involved to help save even more lives visit www.atrailoftwohearts.com