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.