This Christmas a few of us are trading our party heels, for walking boots, with the aim of walking 10 miles to get our annual Christmas pub lunch. What had become an annual tradition among old school friends has taken on a new meaning this year. We'll be raising money for Ruben's Fund which was set up by Charlotte, our friend (centre of picture), who sadly lost her baby Ruben at just 3 and a half months old earlier this year.

Ruben was born with GACI (Generalized arterial calcification of infancy), which causes high blood pressure and a strain on the heart. This ultimately caused him to suffer with dilated cardiomyopathy which is an enlarged heart that is unable to pump the blood round the body effectively. He fought so hard to stay alive. However fate was not on his side and he passed away on the 12 January 2022.

His family has since established Ruben's Fund with the aim of raising £200,000 to enable the team at Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospital to set up a dedicated research project, which will provide valuable knowledge into genetic cardiomyopathy, which effects 1 in 100,000 babies, to better treat and manage this condition.

As most paediatric cardiomyopathy remains genetically unexplained, there is an urgent need to better understand genetic susceptibility and underlying disease mechanisms. To help avoid situation’s that Ruben’s family found themselves in.

Anything you can contribute to help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Becky Mason