Cupar woman born with hole in heart to take on London Marathon

Linzi had heart surgery when she was four.
Linzi had heart surgery when she was four.

A Cupar woman who was born with a hole in her heart will be running in the London Marathon and raising funds for charity.

Linzi Shand (30) was born with a hole in her heart that wasn’t discovered until she was two years old.

At that time open heart surgery was the only option, as the hole in her heart was too big for keyhole surgery, but Linzi was too small for the surgery so they had to wait until she was four.

“Now, as a mum myself, I can’t quite fathom how my mum and family coped and how you get through something like that, but they did,” Linzi said.

“Children are so resilient, but I am their only child and my parents had to wait two years for my surgery – it must have been so scary for them.

“When you become a parent you see things so differently, I’ve really started to realise how tough it must have been on them.”

And now, later this month, Linzi will be taking part in the marathon and raising funds for the British Heart Foundation.

This will be her first marathon and first time in London, and already she has raised more than £650 – double her target.

She said: “The thing that has struck me since I’ve started fundraising is just how many people in my life have been affected by heart disease, either personally or through their family and loved ones.

“You just assume everyone is healthy, but people are living with heart conditions and you wouldn’t always know it.

“So many people have shared their stories with me through this and it’s been really touching and it motivates me even more to support the BHF.”

Karen McDonnell, events manager at the BHF, added: “We are thrilled that Linzi has chosen to take on this legendary challenge for the BHF and we will be supporting her every step of the way.

“Around 685,000 people are living with cardiovascular disease in Scotland – by joining the fight Linzi really will be helping us stop heart disease in its tracks.”