Inspired by the 2016 Rio Olympics, seven-year-old Eva Carpenter is taking on a marathon of a charity challenge to say a big thank you to the Heart Foundation Specialist Nurse and Cardiologist who saved her dad’s life three years ago.
Dad Lee (45), a director of supply teacher agency PK education, was admitted to hospital with the heart condition Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Dilated Cardiomyopathy in April 2013 the day before the family was due to go on holiday.
After months of treatment in hospital and at home, Lee was finally able to return to work full-time nine months later as well as enjoy being with his young family once again.
Now, Lee and his daughter have pledged to raise as much money as they can for British Heart Foundation by taking part in MyMarathon during September.
MyMarathon involves undertaking 26.2 miles over days whenever and wherever you want.
Lee said: “Eva is really exercise minded. She already undertakes dance, judo, swimming and gymnastics classes. After watching the Rio Olympics she wanted to try running so I thought this would be the ideal introduction for her. Eva is running really well but I’m having a job keeping up with her.”
Lee and Eva are now running and walking every day in and around Warley Woods. They track their progress with a mobile app which uploads their distance covered to their MyMarathon blog page. Already they have smashed their initial £75 fundraising target.
Cardiac experts believe a virus attacked Lee’s heart a few months’ earlier leading to the life-threatening condition.
Lee explained: “I was really short of breath all the time. I thought I was just unfit and needed to exercise more, but a shortness of breath meant I didn’t have the stamina to do physical activity with my young family. Finding out I had something so serious was a big shock for the entire family. At the time my daughter was 3 years old and my son just 18 months old so it was a very scary time for us all. Today, I am fit and well. I have to eat an ultra-healthy diet and exercise as much as I can. so I cycle, run, swim and walk as much as possible.”
He added: “MyMarathon is giving both Eva and myself a goal to aim for and raising money for a charity that is close to my heart – literally!”
To donate to Lee and Eva’s MyMarathon page visit https://mymarathonsept.everydayhero.com/uk/LeeCarpentermarathon