John cycles length of Britain to raise awareness of cardiomyopathy

15th September 2015

Supporter John Kinnaird is cycling from John O’Groats to Land's End, and raising awareness of cardiomyopathy and Cardiomyopathy UK along the way.

He and his supporters are wearing our tee-shirts as they travel the 950 miles from the north east extremity of Great Britain to the south west one.

Among those greeting him on the way are members of the Cheshire and Merseyside and the Cornwall cardiomyopathy support groups.

John, aged 47, from Paisley in Scotland, was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy seven years ago. He set off from Scotland on September 5th and is hoping to make it to the tip of Cornwall this Saturday.

He is pictured at Chester last weekend with supporters including Julie Rees, who runs the Cheshire and Merseyside support group.

He said: “As someone who had always enjoyed sport and exercise (and had not long completed the London Triathlon) I was devastated to be told that I would no longer be able to exercise, play sports and indeed would be lucky to continue to work. Luckily for me I found myself a fantastic genius cardiologist and an amazingly supportive GP. Through their innovative and groundbreaking medical intervention as well as their physical, mental and emotional support I have defied that initial prognosis.

“I continue to work full time in a high paced retail environment. I have, once again, taken part in the London triathlon and several others as well. And I recently ran the Manchester 10K.

“ I live a full, happy and positive life and want to encourage other heart failure patients to do the same. Living with heart failure may not be the life I imagined. It's a different life and in a lot of ways it's a better life. I now appreciate things in a way I never did before.

“When I was initially diagnosed I got a lot of help and support from Cardiomyopathy UK and even met my partner Lorna through their forum. More recently I have been supported by the Pumping Marvellous Foundation which is the UK's only heart failure charity led by patients for patients. These two charities have helped me immensely and I hope to return the favour by raising awareness of cardiomyopathy and heart failure.

“Cycling has always been a passion of mine and cycling John O'Groats to Land's End was something I always thought I'd get round to eventually.”

John is raising funds for Pumping Marvellous.