LOCAL Councillor Amanda Boote is taking on the British Heart Foundation’s iconic London to Brighton Bike Ride this summer for the third time – and this year she is going the extra mile to beat her fundraising targets in honour of her close friend.
More recently, however, the ride has become even more important to Amanda after she found out last year that she suffers from a hereditary blood pressure problem.
Amanda, who represents Byfleet & West Byfleet, explained: “I absolutely love the ride; it is a fantastic event that supports a great cause.
“I would always ride in honour of my friend Maurice, who had a valve replacement.
“It was a scary time as it was touch and go after he had the procedure, but he is doing fine now. More recently heart disease has had an impact on my life, meaning the BHF now holds even more of an emotional connection.
“When my doctor told me I had high blood pressure, I was prescribed medication and advised that I needed to change my lifestyle habits to prevent long-term damage.
“This was when it really dawned on me how heart disease can hit anyone and how vital the BHF’s research is in the fight to beat heart and circulatory disease.”
And Amanda decided to join that fight from the saddle.
“When I first took on the London to Brighton Bike Ride in 2014, I wanted to prove to people that I could do this challenge.
“Although I had completed the BHF’s Round the Harbours Bike Ride in 2009 and 2010, I had never cycled such a long distance, so people were a bit dubious when I told them about doing a 54-mile ride.
“It was a challenge; I made it half way and wanted to give up but I didn’t want to let down everyone who had sponsored me. So I kept going! When we crossed the finish line, the feeling was so over-whelming that I haven’t looked back since.”
To sponsor Amanda and help stop others from facing the loss of a loved one through cardiovascular disease, search ‘Amanda Boote’ on JustGiving.