A TEENAGER who died from a rare heart defect has inspired his uncle and a family friend to run the London Marathon.
Alan Border, from Acton, and Jo Codling, from Sudbury, are hoping to raise money for the Evelina Children’s Heart Organisation, in memory of Mr Border’s nephew, Harrison Smith.
Harrison, 14, of Tamage Road, Acton, collapsed and died in his father’s arms after a heart attack in May last year. He had been born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition which occurs when parts of the left side of the heart do not develop completely.
Jo, a secretary at Sudbury Upper School and former work colleague of Harrison’s mother, Caroline, said: “I have entered the ballot for the last four years and, when I got my place, I asked Caroline if I could run in his memory.
“When I found out I’d got in, it was a mixture of excitement and thinking ‘Oh my god, what have I done?’.
“I have set myself a target of £2,000, but whatever I can raise for the charity is a bonus.”
Caroline expressed her gratitude for the efforts of the pair.
“It really means a lot that they are doing this,” she said. “It is the first marathon either of them have attempted.”
q To sponsor either Alan or Jo for this year’s race on April 22, visit www.virginmoneygiving.co.uk and search for Alan Border, or go to www.justgiving.com/jo-codling.