The Kaiser Challenge – A Plea from a Bride to be…Raising Cardiomyopathy Awareness

This morning I recieved an email from Andrew Shanahan of I am Staggered that immediately made me stop, take stock and be grateful for all I have.

He was forwarding an email from Sarah, a bride to be who needed help.

But this wasn’t a plea from a Bride for Wedding help, this was a  bride-to-be who plans to use what should have been her wedding day to honour her fiance’s memory and help raise as much money as she can supporting The Cardiomyopathy Association and Cardiac Risk in the Young.

I hand you over to Sarah to tell Alex’s story,

“My name is Sarah Hoare, and I want to tell you about my fiance Alex Kaiser.”

“Known as ‘Kaiser’ to most, he was a most fantastic fiance, son, brother, uncle and friend who embraced life and threw himself into all its challenges with abandon. He wasn’t scared to try new things and approached life in a positive way and with a ‘can-do’ attitude.”

“We had six years together and he made me the happiest woman alive, making sure that laughs were had each day and that we didn’t sweat the small stuff.”

“An ambitious engineer, he had moved down South to Bristol 7 years ago and had made it his home (although he was always a Northerner at heart).”

“He worked and played hard, was a keen mountain biker; a rugby lover; amateur photographer and friend to all. Never scared of a challenge, he was due to be running the Berlin Marathon in September this year as well as competing in many biking competitions.”

“We were due to be getting married on 7th July 2012 at my family’s farm after having got engaged at the Grand Canyon in October 2010, but on 28th April 2012, after a day of downhill mountain biking in South Wales, my beautiful man fell asleep and didn’t wake up.”

“We believe he suffered from Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart muscle disease that makes the heart vulnerable to some dangerous and potentially fatal heart rhythms.”

“HCM is hard to diagnose and there is no cure, Alex had only just been to the doctors the week before he died due to some dizzy spells but they didn’t cause too much concern as he was a fit and healthy 28 year old who cycled, ran and swam every week.”

“In order to raise awareness of this disease and money for these two charities that do amazing work with those affected by it; we are aiming to cycle the approximate 200 miles from Glossop (Derbyshire), where Kaiser grew up, to Nempnett Thrubwell (near Bristol) where we were due to get married.”

“We will be cycling from the 5th to the 7th July and will be arriving to hold a celebration of his life rather than the wedding day that we had originally planned.”

“We are a motley crew of cyclists, many of whom haven’t been on a bicycle in years and so this is going to be a tough challenge, both emotionally and physically – but with Kaiser’s strength and approach to life in our hearts and minds then there is no doubt that we will achieve it.”

How can you help ?

“Please help honour this man, who spread smiles wherever he went, and support these charities that do wonderful work with those affected.”

“By sponsoring us, cheering us along the route, or (if you are up for the challenge) by signing up to ride alongside us; you will be part of creating a lasting legacy for a fiance, son, brother, uncle and friend who was taken far too soon.”




To Find out about The Kaiser Challenge




If you wish to join the Ride


This story has really moved me as its something that could affect us all. Cherish your loved ones, tell them you love them, never go to bed in anger. Life is far far too short.

FACT: Cardiomyopathy is the biggest medical cause of sudden death in under 35s and as many as 1 in 500 people are affected but don’t know.


UK Wedding Blogger with an eclectic style based in Glasgow


  1. Reply

    Such a lovely story Alison. I hope they raise lots of awareness and money to help them do that. So sad that he didn’t make it. Their story bought a tear to my eye. I wish them all the luck in the world!

    1. Reply

      Thanks for your comment Joyce, The Kaiser Challenge is an amazing thing and if I can help raise awareness or help with fund raising in any way then I am very proud to be able to help x

  2. Reply

    Wow I am crying in the middle of a shopping centre. What a fantastic way to celebrate someone’s life. I have no doubt that you will have such a huge amount of support from friends and family as well as others who hear about this.
    I wish you the best of luck xx

    1. Reply

      Thanks Adeline for your lovely comment. What Sarah and Alex’s friends are doing is truly amazing and if I can help in any small part to raise awareness then that is my upmost privilige x

  3. Reply

    Alex used to work with me! He was such a lovely, funny guy! I am so sorry to hear of this sad news! I think what you are doing is wonderful, I will be there with my family to support you all on your ride xxx

    1. Reply

      Thank you for your comment. I am sure that Sarah will be grateful of your support. Its so sad when someone is taken so young x

  4. Reply

    Sarah I am Lorna Mam and Andy’s favourite person!! ha ha. I was really excited at christmas when I was shown your wedding invitation. I know Kaiser was a close friend to Andy and holds a special place in Lorna’s heart. I always laughed at the stories I would be told of your weekends when you all met up. You are so brave and such an inspiration Kaiser is proud of you I am sure. Thankyou for letting me share some memories and I wish you all the luck in the world for the bike ride and what a way to honour Kaiser…..

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