Stephen McCann

Close To His Heart

adidas Manchester Marathon runner Stephen McCann will be raising vital funds for BHF for a very special reason...

Stephen McCann Jr, 35, is one of the many adidas Manchester Marathon runners raising funds for charity this year. He will be running in his late father’s memory and is fundraising for the British Heart Foundation (BHF). Stephen, who lives in Newton-le-Willows with wife Emma and children Tyler, 10, Clara, 7 and Rory, 3, praised the work of the BHF and said that without research funded by the charity, they would have lost his father years ago.

“Dad sadly passed away in April last year aged just 61,” said Stephen. “He went for an operation on his heart known as ablation surgery but it didn’t go to plan and he sadly passed away on the operating table. If it wasn’t for the BHF and the research it’s funded, we would have lost him years ago as he has suffered with heart problems since he was just 32. So that’s the reason I am doing this for the charity, I just want to give something back.”

When asked about how he is feeling ahead of event day in Manchester, Stephen was full of positivity and praise for the city: “Manchester is a vibrant, up-and-coming, friendly place with a great community feel. I anticipate the marathon and its spectators to reflect these characteristics, which will definitely improve my experience on the day.”

Stephen has a large support team of family, friends and colleagues behind him, who are motivating him to better his marathon time of 3:59. He said he would encourage anyone thinking of signing up to go for it. “I know it sounds cliche, but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity if you get the chance to run in a marathon. From my experience in the past, the people just keep you going, clapping, handing out sweets, helping keep your energy levels up, things like that. And when you finish the relief is unbelievable."

BHF Events Manager, Ellie Mynes, said she was sad to have heard about what happened to Stephen’s father but was glad that BHF-funded research may have helped him have a longer life than he would have otherwise. “We’re immensely proud of the research carried out by the scientists we fund, but also immensely grateful to people like Stephen who raise the much-needed money to pay for this research,” she said.

“We know that heart disease is a huge killer – someone dies from a heart or circulatory disease every two hours in Merseyside alone – so I am sure Stephen’s dad would have been proud of what his son is doing to help ensure fewer people go through the heartbreak that he and his family did.”

There are still places available to run in the adidas Manchester Marathon for the associate charity partners of the event. To find out more, visit the Manchester Marathon website.

To donate, you can visit Stephen’s Just Giving page.

Image: Stephen McCann Jr

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