WITH less than two months to go until the big day, runners around the county are preparing for the British Heart Foundation’s Swindon Half Marathon.
One resident taking part is Jenna Stone, who is raising funds for the BHF in memory of her partner Chris Le Plongeon, who died in February from coronary heart disease. He was just 38.
Chris’s death was made all the more painful by the sudden and unexpected event that led to his passing.
Jenna said: ‘The day before was a normal working day for Chris, and the evening was just another normal evening – watching TV, having dinner and going to sleep.
“And then in the middle of the night I woke up and realised he was not breathing.
“It was so sudden. I tried to revive him but it was too late. He passed away in his sleep, two months before his 39th birthday.”
Chris had suffered from a sudden cardiac arrest and there was nothing that could be done to save his life. Jenna now wants to make sure that young people are all aware that heart disease is something that could affect anyone and that regular check-ups should not just be limited to people with existing heart conditions.
Jenna said: “Chris was a man brimming with energy, vitality, passion, enthusiasm and a joy for life.
“He lived live to the full – always 110 per cent in everything he did. He never did things slowly; a man of action, decision and a big heart; a man willing to push the boundaries in everything he did. To this day, I cannot think of anything that I missed that may have indicated he had a heart condition.”
Jenna is now taking on the BHF Swindon Half Marathon to raise money and awareness of the illness that claimed Chris’s life so unexpectedly.
She said: “After Chris passed away, I have felt rudderless and aimless and adrift in an unknown sea. I also wished I’d known more about looking for potential signs.
“If I can help make someone more aware of the possible risks, and how to recognise signs and help save a life, this would be wonderful. It is all I would want. It is about raising awareness of how fragile the heart is and to take care of it; even the fit can suddenly pass away, and it is not always an ‘old people’s’ health problem.”
Jenna is well on her way to achieving her ambitious fundraising target of £500. To sponsor her visit https://www.justgiving.com/Jenna-Stone1/.
This year is the second year the BHF has organised the half marathon after taking on the event from Swindon Council. Entry for the event on October 12 is £23 and purely covers the cost of running the event. To register call 0845 130 8663 or visit bhf.org.uk/Swindon. Alternatively, you can also email the events team on firstname.lastname@example.org.