We are immensely proud of Proverb co-founder Ben Burch. This time last month he completed what can only be described as an epic journey - a 100km non-stop run to raise money for The Royal Brompton Hospital.
Happy Heart 100 is all about raising money and awareness of Infant Heart Surgery and the pioneering research that is redesigning it. One in a hundred babies is born with a heart defect of some kind. They may have incomplete or missing parts, may be put together the wrong way, have holes between the chambers or inefficient valves.
Ben's younger daughter Allegra was born on the 9th August 2017, she had a problem with some of the large vessels that lead off from the heart. At just four days old she had open heart surgery. The team at Royal Brompton were exceptional and Allegra recovered rapidly. Seven days on from the operation and at ten days old she was discharged and they all went home - a huge emotional rollercoaster in just a few days, whilst the operation was relatively simple there were some severe complexities in the recovery.
As they left their thoughts turned to the parents and children still in PICU (Paedetric Intensive Care Unit) and those who would arrive - they wanted to try and help them all in some way. Olivier Ghez who was the surgeon is part of a team leading a project into changing the way that Infant Heart Surgery is performed - less impact, faster recovery and better outcomes. (You can read more about the specifics here - https://infantheartsurgery.com/).
Ben wanted to find a way to support this project - he wanted to do something that was challenging for him but at the same time inclusive for all. It had to be local, ideally close to the hospital and something that his family and friends could embrace - that really only left running.
The Royal Brompton is world renowned and the results of this project will have far reaching impact across the globe. Medical research is expensive but this project has a modest budget with a huge impact. The running of the project requires an estimated £120,000 per annum, over a period of three years.
"I want to do everything I can to make this experience less traumatic for any other family that goes through it." Ben Burch
Not only was there a 100km run, there was also a kids' run organised which was aimed at inspiring them to challenge their own (and perhaps their parents!) limiting beliefs about what was possible. They ran more then 250km combined - https://www.happyheart100.com/blog/i-can-and-i-will-watch-me
The event became more than just a 100km run, it was a journey and shared experience for all involved, if you want to read about what it's like to run a 100km then Ben has written up a summary here: https://www.happyheart100.com/blog/we-did-it-you-all-did-it
We're sharing his journey here to continue to raise awareness - for further info and if you wish to donate please go to https://www.happyheart100.com
Ben and Allegra at the 33km point.
Nick & Ben outside the Royal Brompton
Joining the kids 5k (they were fast!)