When I was five, during a routine check-up, our school nurse heard a heart murmur. This was quickly diagnosed as a coarctation of the aorta, a life-threatening congenital heart defect. 

A year later, after the symptoms had really kicked in, the amazing team at Royal Brompton helped a now very poorly, very nervous six year-old boy feel calm, safe and assured that the next few days would be the beginning of a new life.

After some perfectly performed cutting-edge surgery, that defect was repaired. The road to recovery was long, but after a few tough months, I was a different boy. I could go outside at playtime, I could run, play football, and enjoy life.

The Royal Brompton not only saved my life, they gave me a new one.

If that weren't enough, they've seen me every year since then to make sure I'm OK. There are still a few bits and pieces they need to keep an eye on, and it's likely I'll need the ticker tinkered with again in future, but in the meantime they've kept me in tip-top condition, in that same warm, friendly way every year.

I've turned 40 now, so in reaching the middle of that life they saved, I want to be able to give something back. I've kept relatively fit throughout my life, but I wanted to do something way beyond my comfort zone, to really push me, and hopefully encourage you, to raise as much as possible for such an amazing cause.

Whether it's a pound or fifty, every penny you donate will go straight to the Royal Brompton. I can't thank you enough for helping me with this challenge, it's going to really make a difference on my cold, wet training runs, as well as on the big day!

We want to wish Matt the best of luck at the London Marathon. If you would like to support his marathon fundraising effort, please click the link below.

Support Matt