A super fit mum who has clocked up two marathons and two half marathons after discovering she has a rare heart defect is tuning up rather than gearing up for her latest charity mission
Lancashire ambassador for Heart Research UK Sarah Walton will be calling on songsters and songstresses of all ability to sing for the heart this December.
And the Zumba teacher from Adlington will be training her own vocal chords for the festive fundraiser, offering to join anyone from schoolchildren, businesses and community groups to bands and choirs for an uplifting sing-a-long.
Sarah, 36, is helping to drive the charity’s initiative after embracing a new role as a volunteer coordinator. In the past year Sarah has raised £5,000 from her fitness endeavours.
She said: “Keeping your heart healthy is so so important - if I can make a difference in any way like taking part in a run to help save a life well then I have the easy job.”
She initially signed up to fundraise for the charity in memory of her grandad Bernard Langton who died from a heart aneurysm aged 69 and her great grandad who suffered a massive heart attack aged 72.
Pulling on her running shoes Sarah participated in the Great North Run and caught the running bug.
However, in January this year the mum-of-three had a health scare of her own when she collapsed during her fitness class. She was later diagnosed with a faulty heart valve, which she now receives medication for.
Sarah says: “I just had a feeling something wasn’t quite right - I was getting dizzy spells, odd aches. Everyone was saying you’re just trying to do too much but I knew what my body was capable of and knew it had to be something different.
“I blacked out during a Zumba class and after being rushed to hospital I was told it was my heart valve not working properly - I have regular medication now and know the warning signs I was lucky.”
Sarah said it was knowing her fitness was a major factor in helping her cope which led to her determination to keep running. In April she completed the London Marathon.
She added: “I have been so well supported by my husband Steven, my children, all the ladies in my Zumba classes and I just love it. I fit the training around my classes, the children’s activities, whenever I can.”
The Sing for Your Heart campaign is a new venture and Sarah has been busy drumming up support from local schools, businesses and community groups.
She said: “I do enjoy a sing song usually in the shower but this is great way to get everyone involved with a great cause.
“It’s a chance to sing some uplifting festive songs whether it be carols, karaoke, or a concert and I’ll happily come along and sing with pleasure!
Sarah aims to raise as much money and awareness as she can in support of Heart Research UK’s work into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.
For more information visit www.facebook.com/Lancashire2016/?fref=ts
Taking part in Sing for Your Heart is easy.
All you need to do is:
• choose a date in December
• pick your venue
• perform to an audience
• raise money to help hearts near you
If you would like to hold your own Sing for your Heart event in your local area, call 0113 234 7474 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to heartresearch.org.uk/sing