Daniela's London Marathon run in support of son Danny

20th April 2015

Daniela Kelly and another 44 runners will be representing Cardiomyopathy UK in the London Marathon on Sunday.

Daniela has lost a daughter and husband to dilated cardiomyopathy and her 18-year-old son Danny is also affected.

Her daughter Emilia died at age 19 months after a heart transplant.  Her husband Tim died ten years ago, 12 years after he had had a successful transplant.  Danny may need a heart transplant soon.

Daniela said: “Some people with this condition can lead relatively normal lives but in our family it is typically aggressive and a heart transplant has eventually been the only option. I am running in memory of my wonderful husband and my beautiful daughter and for Danny, in the hope that he will be lucky enough to receive a strong new heart and will be able to run his own marathon one day.

Daniela and Danny Kelly

“Danny’s condition has been gradually deteriorating but became much worse last summer. I decided to run the London Marathon because I felt I needed to do something positive for myself and Danny, and to raise awareness of this disease.”

Daniela said that Tim had lived life to the full after his transplant and ran the London Marathon with his new heart in 2003, to raise funds jointly for Cardiomyopathy UK and the British Heart Foundation.

She added: “I’m not a runner, more of a pilates and gentle stroll with the dogs type, so the marathon is going to be quite a challenge. But donations are coming in and there is no going back.

“Most importantly, I’m hoping to raise well over £7,000 for Cardiomyopathy UK to help the charity support families like ours, educate doctors and nurses to improve diagnosis and treatment, and help promote research into the disease and new treatments."

Daniela added: “Friends, colleagues and family have been extremely generous with their support and sponsorship.  A neighbour organised a Christmas raffle and bridge afternoon and raised £255, and my sponsorship form has pride of place in various hairdressing salons, day centres and tai-chi classes in our local area.  I work for an international company and colleagues from as far away as Seattle and Sydney have donated.”

“How long it takes me to run 26 miles is not really important to me but I’d like to finish within six hours – or at least the eight hours required to get a participants’ medal!”

“I’m looking forward to being part of something so huge, vibrant and exciting, the camaraderie along the way – and a big plate of chips at the end.”

To support Daniela, go to www.justgiving.com/Daniela-Kelly