Amy Porter started running during the first Covid pandemic lockdown and has now set herself the challenge of doing the Great North Run half marathon in September to raise money for Beat SCAD.
Amy told us: “Completing an event like the Great North Run has always been on my bucket list, so when receiving a place in this year’s event it gave me a great opportunity to run on behalf of Beat SCAD, as this charity means a lot to me and my family since my Mum unexpectedly had a SCAD in 2016. My hope and motivation are to raise funds and awareness, in order to help keep the research and conversation about SCAD going and saving lives.”
Amy’s mum, Nicola’s SCAD happened when they were in London celebrating Nicola’s son David’s graduation. They were hundreds of miles away from home in the Scottish Borders.
“Initially after it happened there was a lot of worry, shock and uncertainty as a SCAD wasn’t something any of us had heard of before; it took a while to get our heads around it and understand what it meant for my Mum,” said Amy.
“We feel extremely blessed and grateful my Mum survived, received the help she needed at the time, and subsequently, from both the NHS and Beat SCAD and has recovered well. Over time we’ve come to understand and accept the condition, but it has also given us a greater appreciation of our time together as a family and not to take any of that granted. I think about the day my Mum had the heart attack all the time and how brave she was that day and every day since then – she is my inspiration and along with other families affected by SCAD are my motivations for the Great North Run.”
Couch to 5K… to the Great North Run
“Like many others at the time running became my escape from the world and really helped me focus on something positive. I’ve continued running since then, running a couple of local half marathons last year – but nothing on the scale of the Great North Run!” said Amy.
“I started focusing my training for the Great North Run in March and have tried to use it as a chance to explore more places and running routes locally. My brother, David has also been a great support in my training by joining me on some runs and talking all things running with me! Running has given me an outlet and time to process what happened with my Mum – so doing the Great North Run seems like a fitting way to be thankful for this, give back to Beat SCAD and mark my Mum’s sixth SCADiversary this year!”
As part of her training and get more race experience, Amy is taking part in the Great North 10K in Newcastle on 3 July – we’re looking forward to hearing more about that!
Amy says Beat SCAD helped both Nicola’s recovery and the family’s.
“Beat SCAD has provided invaluable support and advice to my Mum by giving her access to medical information and putting her into contact with other SCAD survivors to share experiences and provide mutual support. This has been a lifeline and ensured she has not been alone in her recovery – this support has been an enormous help and has extended to us as a family. We can’t thank Beat SCAD enough for their hard work, dedication and communication throughout the last few years.
“One example of this was the Beat SCAD Scottish Patient group sponsored walk in Edinburgh in 2019 where we met other SCAD survivors and their families – it was a great chance to hear other people’s stories, connect with each other and build much needed community.”
Nicola said: “Amy was with me when I had my SCAD and she was so amazing with how she looked after me in the trauma and shock of the moment when it happened. Now five years on I am so proud of how well she has coped with it all and has been such an invaluable encouragement to me throughout my recovery. After taking up running through lockdown Amy has shown real dedication and perseverance with her training and preparation for the Great North Run; her first big race. Running to raise money for Beat SCAD and to support this small patient-led charity is such a special thing and will help so many SCAD survivors. Thank you, Amy, you are one incredible young woman and I am so proud to be your mum.”
We asked Amy what she hoped the money raised would be used for. She told us: “I hope it will be used to support other SCAD survivors and their families like us and to continue the much-needed research so SCAD can be accurately diagnosed and treated more effectively. I also hope there will be a much greater awareness and understanding about SCAD which may in time lead to prevention.”
Thank you, Amy and all those who are supporting her and fundraising for us. Click here to see Amy’s fundraising page and donate.