Granby Half-Marathon 2014

Undertaken by: Stéphanie Beaubien

My name is Stephanie. I run.

I’ve been running for three years now. I run to relax and to breathe nature in. I also run for my heart.

I’m a patient at the Montreal Heart Institute. I have type B subaortic stenosis. In other words, like a lot of premature babies, when I was born I had a blowing murmur – a ventricular septal defect. On its own, it was nothing alarming. The doctors had been there and done that. It was only when they looked a little deeper that they detected a heart anomaly. A mass of flesh was lodged underneath my aortic valve (hello high school biology class!), putting pressure on the valve and stopping it from closing completely. The anomaly they discovered was the stream of blood escaping from this valve every time my heart beat.

I run to improve my VO2 max – my maximum oxygen uptake – and my resting heart rate. I do this because these factors have an impact on my aortic valve. Because the friction caused by the escaping blood puts mild stress on the valve, it’s a good idea for me to lower the rate of my heartbeat. This in turn reduces the stress on the valve.

So I run, to keep my aortic valve in working order for as long as possible! And I’ve decided to raise funds for life-saving research that can keep me running even longer. For me, the Heart and Stroke Foundation is the best reason to lace up my running shoes. What about you?

How many of us will be able to say one day that they directly supported the medical field? Some people – many, even – do so after the fact. A person who has undergone cancer treatment, for example, maybe a former patient, might decide to run for the cause. The only difference between that person and me is that I haven’t needed the Foundation’s help yet. The way I see it, running for the Heart and Stroke Foundation is part of my long-term plan!

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