We have decided to try and help in any way we can with educating about heart disease. We now want to make a more physical donation to helping those who suffer heart disease by planning a 1080 mile sponsored cycle ride from Lands End to John O’ Groats also known as LEJOG.
This is a relatively well-known cycle route in the United Kingdom where you cycle from one end of the country to the other. The usual trip would start at Lands end in Cornwall at the South Western tip of England and goes all the way up to the North Eastern extreme of Scotland ending at John O’ Groats.
We are planning to cycle un-aided carrying full camping kit between two of us over a route of approximately 1080 miles over two weeks in aid of the British Heart Foundation (BHF).
We are hoping to raise at least £1000 for this endeavor, which is about a single pound for every mile travelled on the road. We will be raising money for a wonderful charity whilst ensuring our own heart fitness!
We are planning to keep everyone up-dated on our training progress and estimated time of departure via Heart-Blog.com. Donations can be made at our secure justgiving.com page: http://www.justgiving.com/ChrisandBecca. We would be happy to take sponsorship for short-term advertising on the Heart-Blog.com website as negotiable.
Certain fish (zebrafish) and amphibians have been known to have the capacity for cardiac regeneration throughout life. However, it is not the same case for the adult mammalian heart.
Recently the BHF have been talking a lot about the regenerative capacity of zebrafish and have made a huge new initiative to study how the zebrafish achieves its heart regenerative capacity.
However, a new study in the journal Science from the University of Texas South-western Medical Center has brought the issue a little closer to home. They have shown that young mice not older than 7 days old are able to regenerate sections of their hearts after damage.
This regenerative process was proven to be different from the usual repair process of the heart after it has become damaged i.e. that the heart could repair itself fully and not have impaired function.
Thus, it seems that for a brief period after birth, mammalian heart has the capacity to regenerate.
This is a wonderful finding and hopefully future research may be able to determine how the young heart keeps its regenerative ability after birth. Ideally future research would extend into understanding how we may be able to therapeutically manipulate damaged hearts, allowing them to regenerate after cardiac injury.
This research could open a completely new avenue for patients who have suffered heart attacks (also known as myocardial infarctions) and other damage to the heart to recover better after these cardiac events.
To read more about Zebrafish at the BHF
To read more about the young mouse heart SCIENCE
Sign the petition at the BHF to persuade politicians in the United Kingdom to add ELS skills to the National Curriculum to be taught in schools!
What are ELS skills I hear you ask? I’m glad you asked, ELS stands for Emergency Life Support skills. These skills will enable young people to help others in varying medical emergencies.
An incredibly important ELS skill is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). About 30,000 people each year in the United Kingdom will have a cardiac arrest and members of the public see roughly half of these. However, only 1 in 10 of these people will survive to be discharged from hospital after their arrest. If more people knew how to administer CPR, more people would leave the hospital alive after suffering a cardiac arrest.
How much time would it take to teach our children ELS? A tiny two hours a year is all that is needed to teach this subject that could be incorporated into existing subjects like P.E or Science. It’s incredibly simple to learn too!
For more information and to sign the petition for ELS skills to be taught in the classroom: BHF.