Tom White was one of 500 British Heart Foundation (BHF) Champions who completed the Prudential Ride London-Surrey 46 on Sunday, helping to raise an incredible £250,000 for vital research into improving diagnosis and treatments of deadly inherited heart conditions.
The ride saw tens of thousands of cyclists set off from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and wind their way through the stunning Surrey countryside.
Filled with an impressive line-up of London landmarks, the final leg took riders across the Thames for a triumphant finish on the Mall.
The British Heart Foundation was RideLondon 100’s 2019 charity partner. Amongst those cycling to beat heartbreak forever was Tom, 36, from Earlsfield, pictured, who raised a fantastic £200.
He took on the 46-mile challenge because he has a heart condition called Myocarditis, which causes inflammation to the heart muscle.
Tom’s condition went undiagnosed for most of his life. However, he began to realise something was wrong when he came down with the flu and started to experience strange, heart attack like symptoms.
At first he tried to sleep it off but he woke feeling worse and his wife found him on his knees in the living room in excruciating pain.
It was then that they realised Tom needed to go to the hospital. He was kept in intensive care for over a week and has been left with scaring on the left side of his heart.
Thankfully, though, Tom’s condition is manageable; he now takes regular medication and sees his cardiologist twice a year. He took on Prudential Ride London-Surrey 46 to raise awareness about heart and circulatory disease, especially in young people.
After crossing the finish line, Tom said: “Taking on the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 was a truly phenomenal experience.
“The sense of camaraderie amongst the cyclists was so uplifting, especially up the more difficult hills, and I loved spotting the red jerseys of other BHF riders along the way.”
“I was pretty tired towards the end but the incredible views of London and the excitement coming from the crowds made for an exhilarating atmosphere which carried me across the finish line.
“It feels amazing to know that all of my fundraising efforts and the time and commitment that went into my training will help the BHF to beat heartbreak from inherited heart conditions.”
To find out more about the BHF’s challenge events, visit https://www.bhf.org.uk/events