Two of our supporters recently took to running marathons. Chris Rands took to the Brighton Marathon on 15th April 2017. He noted:
I've not run a marathon before. I not even going to guarantee that I'll make the start line of this one, with bones this old, but I'm sure as hell going to try!
As a marathon is something I've never been fool enough to try before, (and I'm almost certain to realise I never want to repeat!) I thought I should mark the moment for doing as much as I can for a local charity called Heartstart Thatcham. These guys are brilliant, and they literally save lives by both teaching people what to do when there is a life-threatening emergency, and they provide the AEDs ("Stand clear" Fzaaaaapz) machines locally which can be used by members of the community in an attempt to save anybody urgently in need. These natty devices are fully capable of both monitoring, and defibrillating, and instructing anybody using it on and emergency case how to save lives.
Chris with family and friends. The marathon was complete and Chris continues to collect funds via his JustGiving page. On the 23rd April 2017 another supported, Karen West, took on the London Marathon. Hear Karen's story:
I have been running for just over 3 years and have completed two half marathons, and various 5k and 10k races but I wanted a real challenge so entered the ballot for London marathon never imagining I would get a place!
Last year my brother was diagnosed with a heart condition, and a few years before my dad also had a heart problem which involved me seeing a defibrillator being used in real life by paramedics (who in no doubt saved his life) as his heart had stopped.
I am lucky that they have both made a full recovery, and that's what made me want to raise money for a heart charity, and when I read in the local newspaper about Heartstart Thatcham and the installation of defibrillators in the local community I knew I had to get involved and raise money for them as you never know when you might need to use one or save a life!.
Karen completed the marathon in 5 hours 43 minutes and like Chris Karen continues to raise funds via her JustGiving page.
Heartstart Thatcham teaches Emergency Life Support skills and also raise money to allow the team to purchase defibrillators which are then placed into the local community. Since August 2013 the team have trained more than 925 people and since October 2014 installed 40 defibrillators. Scheme Coordinator, Nick Young, said the funds from these two marathons have already allowed us to help fund the installation of another defibrillator at Wash Common. It is the help and support of individuals like Chris and Karen that allow us not only to teach skills that can and do save lives but provide defibrillators to the community."