Neither a life-long heart condition nor a knee injury would prove a match for a Spalding-based property negotiator’s aim to raise money for a regional charity.
Tilly Milverton (21) can look back at her self-styled “16 in 16 – The Girl with the Dodgy Ticker” series of challenges knowing that she raised £2,025 for Leicestershire-based charity KeeptheBeat.
But if that sounds like an achievement thousands of runners will match after Sunday’s London Marathon, consider that Tilly’s diagnosis for an irregular heart beat five years ago should have prevented her from doing any endurance events at all.
She said: “My doctors said that I wasn’t meant to do any event lasting over an hour so I was very conscious of my heart all the time.
“But my main aim was to both raise money and awareness of people who are still undiagnosed for heart defects and who are living with a scary condition, but not being aware of it.
“I would have been happy with a total fundraising amount of £1,000, so I was surprised to get a cheque for £1,500 from Supreme Inns Bicker to add to the £525 I raised elsewhere.
“During the events, I generated interest by talking to people and wearing my ‘16 in 16 – The Girl with the Dodgy Ticker’ t-shirt.
“My family are proud of me for what I’ve done and that I achieved my aim of 16 endurance events in 2016.
“Overall, I think I’ve been very, very fortunate and I’ll be forever grateful for they have done for me.”
Tilly, who underwent surgery for an abnormally fast heart beat at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital shortly before her 16th birthday in 2012, started her endurance effort at the Airfield Anarchy Frostbite event in Newark last February.
I would have been happy with £1,000, so I was surprised to get a cheque for £1,500 from Supreme Inns Bicker to add to the £525 I raised elsewhere and, overall, I think I’ve been very, very fortunateChantilly “Tilly” Milverton, ‘16 in 16 – The Girl with the Dodgy Ticker’
The ten months that followed saw her take on events, including the Sleaford Half-Marathon, Bourne Rotary Club’s “Run in the Woods”, the Tulip 10k Road Race in Spalding and a memorial football match for cousin Greg Mustill who died in December 2015, 14 years after a heart transplant that prolonged his life.
Chantilly said: “The Sleaford Half-Marathon was the most difficult event because of my heart condition, whilst the Run in the Woods was one of the most enjoyable because I was helping another charity in the shape of Bourne Rotary Club.
“The latter part of 16 in 16 had to be adjusted because I injured my knee, so I did two walks in the Peak District, a 1,600 metres swim and a seven-mile walk around Rutland Water, near Stamford.
“At first, people asked me why I was doing it but now they are asking me how did I do it.
“This was hard work and when I thought my heart would let me down, I injured my knee instead
“Now I’m ready to have a bit of a break before working more closely with medical teams that investigate cardiac arrest and how it affects young people.
“But I’m not stopping or giving up because there are so many people who go undiagnosed for their heart conditions and there’s no reason for it.”
“I just want to have a happy life, enjoy my work and enjoy what I do.”