Ahead of World Heart Day, I am running a solo marathon to raise funds to support the heart health work of two great charities. All money raised will be split 50/50 between the Cayman Heart Fund and Rusfond's Child Cardiology Programme.
The mission of the Cayman Heart Fund is to improve cardiovascular health for all in the Cayman Islands (where I live), through educating the public, influencing policy, and supporting access to high quality care through various programs and initiatives. Money raised for the Cayman Heart Fund will go towards the US$1,500 per unit cost of donating a free Automated External Defibrillator (AED) units to the community. Quick access to an AED unit is vital in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest, which can strike adults and children of any fitness level at any time, in any location. When a person experiences sudden cardiac arrest, every second is vital to save that person’s brain and heart. Performing immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation using an AED can give this person the best possible chance of survival!
Rusfond is one of the largest charitable funds in Russia (where I was born). It was established in 1996. One of its key missions is financial assistance to children with serious health conditions, including cardiac issues, in order to enable them to get the treatment they need. All funds raised for Rusfond will be donated to the fundraising appeal of 3 months old Serezha Bulat who needs to raise approximately US$3,000 for endovascular surgery to repair a congenital heart defect. To the extent any moneys raised turn out to be surplus to what Serezha requires (or his appeal gets fully funded before this fundraiser is concluded), the money will be used in accordance with Rusfond's policy to fund medical treatment of other children whose appeals Rusfond promotes.
I will be raising the funds by running a marathon. On Sunday, 20 September 2020, I was due to be in Moscow for work and I planned to combine business with pleasure (or pain?) by running my second Moscow Marathon. I completed the 2019 run in 3 hours 57 minutes in driving wind and freezing rain and loved it!
The global pandemic means I won't be going to Moscow this year. But that need not stop the running or the fundraising for great causes.
Instead of running in Moscow, I will run a virtual Moscow Marathon on my home island of Grand Cayman, traversing the island 42km (26 miles) from East to West on the same day the Moscow Marathon will take place - Sunday, 20 September 2020!
Having run a marathon in the 30C+ (86F+) heat and high humidity of Cayman before, I doubt I will beat my Moscow time, but I'll have a go!
To make the run worthwhile, and to mark the forthcoming World Heart Day on 29 September, I am raising funds for heart health causes in my native Russia (Rusfond) and in the Cayman Islands (Cayman Heart Fund). Half of all money raised will go to Rusfond and half to the Cayman Heart Fund.
By way of full and frank disclosure I should mention that my wife is a paid employee of the Cayman Heart Fund. I am very proud of her hard work for the charity!