Despite being born with a heart condition, Sam Wooding has never let it hold her back - and she is set to prove that when she takes part in this year’s London Marathon.
The nursery nurse, who grew up in Stickney, is tackling the 26-mile route on April 26 in memory of her dad Gary and to raise money for the British Heart Foundation who she says have done so much for her family.
Sam, 29, regularly participates in fitness classes and has completed a 25-mile bike ride and a tandem skydive for the charity.
She said: “I had my first heart operation when I was three-years-old and my second at 21 to replace my heart valve. I am due for my third op. I was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, narrowing of the arteries and a leaking heart valve.
“I’ve checked with the doctor to get legal clearance and as long as I don’t push myself too much I am okay. I’ll be walking, jogging and power-walking the marathon. I’ve been taking part in fitness classes to strengthen my legs and get my stamina up.
“Dad died at 45 through heart surgery. I was 15 at the time and it hurt me a lot but it was down to the British Heart Foundation and their support that we as a family pulled together and got through the pain. I do not think I would be here if it wasn’t for them. They have done so much in their research and helping people like myself to manage to live a normal life.”
In between training for the marathon, Sam is also studying for a degree in childcare and is a busy mum to Jaiden, nearly two years-old.
She said: “We had Jaiden checked for the heart condition as it’s thought to be hereditary, but he does not have it.”
Sam, who now lives in Alford, hopes to raise at least £2,000 for the British Heart Foundation. So far, she has organised a bingo night at Stickney Village Hall which raised £320 and has sponsorship forms in Stickney Post Office and around the village.
She has set up a Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/Sam-Wooding/