On Sunday, 24 March, more than 13,000 people took to the streets to run the London Landmarks Half Marathon. Among those challenging their minds and bodies were Suzanne Rowan and her ten strong team of family and friends who have a raised more than £25,000, all in memory of her husband, Robert Rowan, who was Brentford FC Technical Director.
Robert’s life was tragically cut short on 12 November 2018, when he suffered a fatal cardiomyopathy episode, at only 28 years of age. Robert's heart condition was undiagnosed, so a brutal shock for everyone, including his wife Suzanne.
Soon after Robert's death, Suzanne came across an advert for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), and discovered this charity for the first time. Every week in the UK at least 12 young people between the age of 14 and 35, die of undiagnosed heart conditions, and this not so well known charity, are working tirelessly to reduce this number. CRY actively provide a wraparound service for those effected by cardiac illness and death in the young from support and research, to screening and awareness. If more cardiac issues can be identified more effectively through screening, the possibility is that more lives can be improved, and even saved.
Suzanne’s mission is simple and clear; to raise money to fund screenings, to diagnose problems and to save other young lives. After losing Robert only four months ago, Suzanne and Robert’s family have already worked closely with Brentford Football Club and CRY, to set up the first screening day in memory of Robert. This will take place on 12 May. The ambition is to screen up to 100 young people during the day to help identify undiagnosed heart conditions, alongside remembering Robert.
The London Landmarks Half Marathon was part of a long line of planned activity to achieve her mission, working with CRY to help save more young lives and help other bereaved families. So far, Suzanne and her 10-strong running team have raised more than £25,000, all thanks to the generosity of those who have donated their hard cash, in memory of Robert, and in support of Suzanne and her running team.
This is testament to them both, and to Suzanne, who will carry on Robert’s legacy. You can find out more about Suzanne’s journey on her fundraising page. If you have any fundraising ideas, tips or stories to share, feel free to get in touch with Suzanne.