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Simon Spencer avatar
Simon Spencer

Simon's Liverpool Half Marathon 2014 page

running for Alder Hey Children's Charity because of all the hard work they do

raised by 8 supporters
  • Event: Liverpool Half Marathon 2014, 23 Mar 2014

Alder Hey Children's Charity

We fund life-saving equipment & research to help patients and families across the UK

Charity Registration No. 1160661


Im running for Alder Hey Childrems Hospital to say thank you for saving my life 21 years ago.

Most of you will know why im doing this.

But for those who dont...Here is my story.


I was born a healthy 7lbs 13oz but my weight soon dropped to below 5lbs.
I was born with a condition called VSD, (Ventricular Septal Defect) which basically means i had a hole between the left and right pumping chambers of my heart.
This meant my body wasn't getting the oxygen it needed and I had to have open heart surgery at only 5 months old to fix it.

I went on to live a semi normal childhood after that, all until I started school. 
In December 1992 I was taken ill again and had to go to hospital for another open heart surgery operation, this time for another condition which had arose because of my VSD.

I had developed Aortic Stenosis which meant that gap of the aortic valve when opening/closing was too small and was restricting blood flow around my body.
They again fixed this and told me to take things easy, coming back once a year for a consultation with my cardiologist from then on.

Living life with restrictions in my eyes was not living.
I felt like I was the boy who couldn't do anything. I could, I was just told I couldn't.

I left school and became a chef at 16, working long hours with little or no breaks before moving into restaurant management.
I went a bit off the rails as a teen, doing things I was told I couldn't before. 
Working hard, playing hard.
As you can imagine my cardiologist loved my career and lifestyle choices.

I continued this lifestyle until April 2011 when I was carried out of a nightclub in my home town by 2 paramedics. 
I had drunk a pint of vodka and red bull and began to get palpitations and chest pains.
My cardiologist told me that due to the strain I was putting on my body, and my heart in particular, my condition had worsened and I was instructed to come back every 6 months for a closer observation and also it was advised I stop drinking pints of vodka red bull.

I listened to his advice and cut out the alcohol and caffeine from my diet, thinking this would fix me.

18 months on I went to my October 2012 appointment and my cardiologist gave me the worse news i think I had ever been given.
My heart function was now so bad that he was looking to book me in for surgery again within a year or so.
The news hit me like a steam train. I slowly started to worry about my health, I couldn't sleep, eat, didn't want to go to work, I was a mess. 

Thankfully, I told my good friend and hairdresser what was going on and in January 2013 she introduced me to Juice Plus+ 
Fruit, Veg and Berries in a capsule they called it.
I didn't really know how these juice plus thingies would help but I trusted her and I knew she wanted me to get better so I started taking them.

I did feel better to be fair, I had more energy, slept better, stopped falling asleep on the sofa (and behind the wheel) in the middle of the day... maybe these capsules were alright after all.

4 months later I went to see my cardiologist but was a bit more hopeful this time.
He sat me down after doing all the necessary tests, he looked confused.
He had 2 piles of paper on his desk.
Last year’s test results, and this year.
He looked at them, reviewing them to make sure there hadn't been a mix up, and when he was confident they were actually my results he just turned to me and asked
"What have you done?"
"What have you changed?"
Now I am still working long hours, I’m still doing the same things he told me in 2011, The only thing that I had changed was the introduction to Juice Plus+ to my diet.

I just told him that I was eating more fruit and veg and I was drinking more water.
He seemed surprised but pleased with that but I think he knew I wasn't telling him everything.
As he booked me in for this year (1st September) he just said 
"Whatever it is you are doing, keep doing it"
I can now honestly say I am looking forward to my next visit to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital 
Now I know Juice Plus+ didn't fix me, it is not a cure, or a drug, it’s just good whole food nutrition which gave my body the things it needed to fix itself.

So as of the new year i decided i wanted to do something for those remarkable people at Alder say thank you for saving my life.

Which brings me here.

Please help me raise as much money as posible for this amazing hospital and charity.



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