Fundraising champion Colin Mallen is gearing up to cycle 300 miles across the country in support of the charity that helped him through a tough time.
The 52-year-old, of Whitburn, is aiming to cycle the 309 miles from Newcastle to London in 24 hours on Saturday, August 22, all in support of the British Heart Foundation.
Training is going really well. I got married to my partner Shirley on July 11 and we even went on a cycling honeymoon in Holland.Colin Mallen
He said: “Training is going really well. I got married to my partner Shirley on July 11 and we even went on a cycling honeymoon in Holland.
“I’m feeling fine about the challenge and I’m definitely ready for it. I’ll probably have two more weeks of training then ease it off a little.”
Colin, who is a support worker for Mencap, has had his own personal battle against heart disease.
In 2003, while out for a run he suffered a severe bout of vertigo, which made him collapse.
He was taken to the hospital, where doctors discovered a problem with his left ventricle.
Colin was advised to attend regular check-ups to monitor the situation, but no immediate concerns were expressed.
However in 2008, Colin was rushed into hospital with ventricular tachycardia (VT), a rapid heart rhythm, which can be potentially life- threatening.
After a cardioversion procedure, to return his heart rate to a normal level, and after a few days in hospital he was fitted with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implant to help prevent future episodes of VT.
A few incidents led to him having his ICD removed in 2012 and after he began suffering chest pains, it was discovered that the front of his heart was not receiving enough blood. He underwent a procedure to help widen the artery.
Colin has had a few more problems but is now fighting fit and is no longer on any medication.
He said: “I’m feeling really strong now and in peak condition.
“I just have to visit my GP every now and again and am only taking aspirin.”
To sponsor Colin, go to www.justgiving.com/Colin-Mallen