Sophie Morgan is running this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon for her cousin Tony who died from cardiomyopathy

Sophie Morgan, 25, will be running for the Cardiomyopathy UK charity in April after her cousin’s heart suddenly stopped working 21 years ago.

“We lost my cousin 21 years ago to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic heart muscle disease," she said.  "He was in his 30s with young children so it was a huge shock for us all.

“When we later found out that his heart had just stopped, it was the first time we became aware that this hereditary disease ran in the family.

“A number of my family have since been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. I feel incredibly lucky that I’m able to run, while so many of my family members cannot because of this disease.

“I’m running the London Marathon for Cardiomyopathy UK because it’s played a huge part in helping my family through many diagnoses, so it’s a charity that’s close to my heart.”

Cardiomyopathy refers to diseases of the heart muscle. These diseases have many causes, signs and symptoms, and treatments.

In cardiomyopathy, the heart muscle becomes enlarged, thick, or rigid. In rare cases, the muscle tissue in the heart is replaced with scar tissue.

As cardiomyopathy worsens, the heart becomes weaker. It's less able to pump blood through the body and maintain a normal electrical rhythm. This can lead to heart failure or irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias. In turn, heart failure can cause fluid to build up in the lungs, ankles, feet, legs, or abdomen.

The weakening of the heart also can cause other complications, such as heart valve problems.

Cardiomyopathy can be acquired or inherited. "Acquired" means you aren't born with the disease, but you develop it due to another disease, condition, or factor. "Inherited" means your parents passed the gene for the disease on to you. Many times, the cause of cardiomyopathy isn't known.

Cardiomyopathy can affect people of all ages. However, people in certain age groups are more likely to have certain types of cardiomyopathy. This article focuses on cardiomyopathy in adults.


posted Friday March 22nd