This September I am running the Richmond Half Marathon for Ruben's Fund which was set up by a mum who lost her 3 month old son due to Dilated Cardiomyopathy.

In 2016, during labour, I suffered heart failure. Happily, I gave birth to my beautiful, healthy, baby girl and, despite being very poorly myself, I was so happy to be a Mummy. I have been on an incredibly long and hard journey, over the years, and eventually heart specialists diagnosed me with a Cardiomyopathy, which was pre-existing to pregnancy and labour. It is still unknown if I have had this Cardiomyopathy my entire life and been unaware. I am so lucky, my Cardiomyopathy does not massively impact my daily life. However, there are many people out there who have lost loved ones to a heart condition.

So why run? During the first lockdown, when COVID hit, I went on a very personal journey to improve my health, fitness and mental well-being and, also with the hope, that more exercise, would slightly improve my heart function. Having never run in my entire life (having walked Race for Life in the past) I started a Couch to 5K. I worked hard. I persevered. I found it hard but I wanted so much to run. I started to run 5K’s a couple of times a week. I was so proud of myself. By the second lockdown, I had the running bug! In 2021 I ran, Run Reigate, and completed my first ever 10K!!! I ran this run for Cardiomyopathy UK because I want to raise awareness of Cardiomyopathy’s.

Last year, in 2022, I turned 40 years old, and I ran the Run Reigate Half Marathon! This was my first EVER half marathon! It was an incredible achievement. I ran this for CRY - Cardiac Risk in the Young, who raise awareness and provide support and screening for young people with an inherited cardiac conditions.

I have made it my mission to raise funds for different heart charities or for people who have lost a loved one to Cardiomyopathy. This year, in 2023, I run another Half Marathon for Ruben's fund.

This fund was set up by Ruben's family 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!

If you want to know more about Ruben's fund - click here: Emma Ricketts