Ian Berry 25 for 25

Ian Berry 25 for 25

Sunday 10th May 2020

Heart Valve Voice's patient advocate, Ian, has taken up the challenge of cycling 25 miles every day for 25 days and to raise awareness of heart valve disease and raise money for Heart Valve Voice. With seven days of cycling under his belt, he decided to update us on his progress.

"Well, I’m at the end of my first week of cycling, currently got 331km in my legs, and I must say I’ve been really enjoying it. I’ve been blessed with sunshine and getting out on the bike every day has been a real release. Part of why I took on this challenge was to push myself, to get out on the bike every day and to make the most of my daily exercise.

Cycling has been a massive part of my life for many years and plays quite a central role in my valve disease story too. It was on the bike that I first noticed myself struggling, after I started to get chest pain and shortness of breath at relatively low exertion. That ended up being the catalyst for me to go and see the GP, who diagnosed me with moderate aortic stenosis.

From my heart valve disease experience, I know the importance of regular exercise for helping you understand changes in your body. The signs and symptoms of heart valve disease can be challenging to recognise, and often mistaken as signs of ageing. Still, regular exercise makes you keep asking questions of your body and makes it easier to respond to how your body is answering. I know Heart Valve Voice has put a focus on this with their Mile Walk campaign, and that was part of the inspiration behind this challenge.

Six days in and I’m still enjoying it every day. We’ll see how my legs are on day twenty!! Thank you to everyone who has donated money so far, Heart Valve Voice did an awful lot for my family and me when I was unwell, and I just wanted to do something to give a bit back to them and show my appreciation. I’ll post an update next week but feel free to check in on me on Facebook and Strava throughout the week."

Well done, Ian. Your drive and determination is inspiring, we look forward to seeing how Week 2 goes.

For regular updates or to donate to Ian's Just Giving page, click the link below