Heartfelt Hero: Alan Brand Steps in Last Minute to Run London Marathon for Little Hearts Matter

Heartfelt Hero: Alan Brand Steps in Last Minute to Run London Marathon for Little Hearts Matter

Alan Brand, a Baptist Minister and father-of-four from Cambridge, is set to lace up his running shoes and take on the iconic London Marathon for Little Hearts Matter – stepping in at the last minute having been motivated by a friend who’s received comfort and support from the charity.

Alan has chosen to run for Little Hearts Matter, following a conversation over a meal with his friend Mike. Mike’s son, Ellis, has regular hospital trips and operations because of his heart condition, which puts a constant stress and strain on their family. And for Mike, Little Hearts Matter offers great support to his whole family – providing a listening ear that provides them comfort, information, and reassurance when they need it most.

In a show of solidarity, Alan is determined to make a difference by raising £1000 and awareness for Little Hearts Matter – the only charity in the UK dedicated to supporting families affected by the diagnosis of a single ventricle heart condition – or half a working heart.

Speaking about his decision to run, Alan said: “As a dad who’s had a child that’s been seriously ill before, I empathised with Mike. After my child recovered, I often heard well-intentioned comments like, ‘Are they better now?’ or ‘Now you can relax and go on holiday.’ But for Mike and his family it’s not like that – things others take for granted, like holidays are a source of fear for them.

Despite the challenges of last-minute preparation, Alan is determined to tackle the 26.2-mile course through the streets of London in around 4 hours 45 minutes – having ran the Cambridge Half earlier this year and taking part in his local park run.

Alan said: “There will always be people quicker than you – but there will always be people slower than you. We naturally always look at those ahead – but there are always people behind, looking at you as a source of inspiration.

“My wife has set me a challenge – her dad was a marathon runner and he died in May 2020. He was working towards 100 marathons but didn’t quite make it. This will be my second London marathon and I can’t wait to there, soaking up the incredible atmosphere where at every step people are cheering you on.”

As Alan gears up for the marathon, he has some advice for those looking to support him:

“Every step counts, and together, we can make a real difference in the lives of those affected by half a working heart. Every act of kindness helps to bring hope and support to those in need.”

Alan has already raised 86% towards his £1,500 target and anyone who wishes to donate is asked to click here.