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Kieran gets a warm welcome at Cromer

Heart transplant patient Kieran Sandwell got a warm welcome in Cromer and Happisburgh as he stopped off during his 5,000-mile trek around Britain to help raise £100,000 for the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) life saving research.

Kieran, 45, from Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, is currently walking the Norfolk Coast Path in his challenge Trail of Two Hearts to mark the end of his long battle with heart disease after having a heart transplant eight years ago.

After setting off on February 1 from the British Heart Foundation office in London, Kieran’s journey has seen him walking the coast of Norfolk, with members of the public supporting him on his journey to help him raise his target. This included a fundraising quiz organised by Ginny Wilson-North, from MargGins Walking and Glamping, at the home of Tessa and Terry Beane in Happisburgh on Saturday night when £100 was raised and being greeted by Walkers are Welcome members and the deputy mayor in Cromer yesterday.

He said: “The inspiration came to me around 25 years ago, but then I would never have been able to complete such an endurance challenge. It’s only thanks to my donor, the BHF, the Brompton and Papworth Hospital and NHS Blood & Transplant that I am able to make my dream a reality.

“My second heart has enabled me to do so much and I’m urging the public to help me support the BHF’s ground-breaking research by making a donation.”

Kieran’s battle with heart disease began when he was just three years old, when he had to have open heart surgery to correct a condition called transposition of the great arteries (TGA) where the main arteries in the heart are ‘plumbed’ back to front.

Then when Kieran was 13 he suffered a heart attack and during his early twenties he also suffered two mini strokes and began having abnormal heart rhythms. By the time he reached 35, he was in heart failure and he was put on the transplant list for a new heart.

In July 2009, Kieran received his new heart and donated his old heart for BHF-funded research into congenital heart disease which has contributed to important findings and helped others living with conditions like his.

Dawne Hart, BHF Fundraising Manager for Norfolk, said:  “We never cease to be amazed by the incredible way our fundraisers raise money for our research, but Kieran’s coastline challenge is one of the biggest we’ve ever seen. We are so incredibly grateful for his determination and dedication to supporting our work and we’ll be supporting him every step of the way.”

To support Kieran on his journey and find out how you can get involved or to sponsor him visit www.atrailoftwohearts.com

Also follow his journey and get in touch at
https://www.facebook.com/atrailoftwohearts/
https://www.atrailoftwohearts.com/Blog
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ATrailofTwoHearts

Conrad finishes his coastal challenge to cheers

He arrived at Cromer Pier still full of beans and ready to chat to the crowd of people who had been waiting to greet him.

BBC radio presenter Nick Conrad completed his four-day run along the Norfolk Coast path this afternoon, accompanied by local running club members and BBC weather presenter Elizabeth Rizzini, who ran with him for the last day from Cley to Cromer.

Nick is raising money for Children in Need in what has become an annual fundraiser of various sporting and other events, including in past years singing in public and a triathlon.

This the fifth year of his efforts was a 45-mile run from Hunstanton in four days, accompanied, along with others, by trainer Neil Featherby, from the North Norfolk Beach Runners.

“I have been joined by different people every day which has been lovely,” said Nick, who arrived in Cromer just before the rain to cheers from the Radio Norfolk listeners, who had come along to see him, and the cast of the Cromer Christmas Show.

He added: “We have been really looked after at all the starting points this week by the National Trust, Cley Windmill and Wells Beach Café and cheered along en route.”

He admitted to being “a little tired” after running solidly for three hours a day, but was delighted to have completed his challenge and is looking ahead to next year already. Maybe you have some ideas?

Here is how you can donate

To show your support for Conrad’s Coastal Challenge text the word CONRAD to 70705 (UK only). Each text costs £5 plus your standard network message charge. The full £5 will go to BBC Children In Need. You must be 16 or over and please ask the bill payer’s permission.

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