Welwyn Garden City woman cycles to Paris for heart charity
PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 September 2019
A Welwyn Garden City woman cycled from London to Paris for charity after being diagnosed with a heart condition.
Amy Lees, 29, was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome at the age of 26, a condition which affects the electrical activity within the heart. After her diagnosis, she was fitted with an internal defibrillator to restart her heart if it stops beating.
She embarked on a 300-mile cycle ride to Paris in aid of CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young), which aims to raise awareness of sudden cardiac death in young people.
Amy, who works as a marketing manager, said: "I found out when I was 26 that I had a genetic heart condition, that young people have with no symptoms until sudden cardiac arrest. I found out that I had it by a fluke.
"The charity scans people who want to be scanned, as about 12 young people a week die from hidden heart conditions."
Amy set off on her journey on Wednesday, September 18, and returned on Saturday, cycling alongside 60 other people all raising money for different causes. The journey involves cycling between 80 and 90 miles each day for four days.
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Speaking before the cycle ride, Amy said: "I have never done anything like this before because I've got my own health problems, so it's a bit of a challenge. I've been training for it since February.
"I've done 65 miles as my longest training distance and I've been going on bike rides and doing a lot of spin classes.
"I'm feeling a mixed bag of excitement and nerves. I'm quite keen to get going and fingers crossed the weather's going to be kind. I'm a bit nervous about the first day because it's 90 miles down to Dover and then we've got to get on the ferry."
As well as wanting to raise money for CRY, Amy also wanted to tick something off her bucket list before she turns 30 in December.
On her JustGiving page, she said: "I'm really grateful that charities like CRY help keep lots of young people's tickers ticking, where like me they might not have had any symptoms of a genetic heart condition until they're screened."
Amy hopes to raise £2,000 in total for the charity, and has already raised more than £1,500.
To donate go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Amy-Lees2019