Banchory resident Dan Clarke is an inspiration to anyone affected by brain or heart illness.
The father-of-three, a forensic scientist for the Scottish Police Services Authority, is set to tackle the challenging Run Balmoral 10km event next month to raise money for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, as a tribute to the medical care which has helped him recover from serious illness a number of times over the past five years.
Outdoors enthusiast Dan, 34, suffered a traumatic head injury five years ago. He ended up in a drug-induced coma in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where the medical teams brought him slowly back to full health.
He has since undergone major heart surgery and now has a specialised graft replacing the beginning of his aorta. Despite all this, and also having recently developed epilepsy, he is determined that he will stay fit, healthy and positive.
Dan, who also recently lost his father to heart disease, decided to fundraise for CHSS to focus attention on the need for more investment into the causes and treatment of heart and brain illness.
“What has shocked us most is how heart disease can affect anyone”, Dan said. “Even my Dad, who was a very fit man and keen road cyclist, suffered from aortic valve problems and heart disease that led to his needing two major heart operations, and we lost him too soon. The medical and surgical care has been incredible, but it must be improved. Heart disease is one of the most common causes of death in Scotland. This is a rallying cry from my heart – that we all surely need to invest in maximising research and treatment into these areas as best we can.”
Senior regional fundraiser with Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, Paul Corrigan, added: “What Dan has achieved so far demonstrates that amazing things can still be undertaken by people who have been affected by chest, heart and stroke illness. On behalf of CHSS, I’d like to thank him most sincerely for tackling Run Balmoral in aid of our charity; he is a real inspiration to all of us.
“The money raised will make a real impact on our ability to continue supporting others affected by these life-changing conditions throughout Scotland.
“CHSS needs to raise £6 million a year to support our local services which include stroke nurses, volunteer stroke groups, affiliated heart and chest support groups and an advice line offering confidential advice and information for patients and carers on 0845 077 6000.
“There is also a website where information and useful links can be found and publications and videos downloaded at www.chss.org.uk.”
To help Dan achieve his fundraising target, donate via his fundraising website: www.justgiving.com/danieljclarke or call the CHSS fundraising hotline on 0800 31 60 555.