Marathon runners

Anna Borghesani was born with pulmonary stenosis, a congenital heart defect where the flow of blood between the heart and lungs is restricted by a deformity on or near the pulmonary valve.

“One big thick scar, covered by another thinner scar, right in the middle of my chest. They remind me that I’ve got one life. LIVE IT and LOVE IT!

Thanks to science, I now happily live with an artificial pulmonary valve, a small valve that regulates the blood flow from the heart to the lungs.

I say I was born ‘funny’ as that valve never worked very well for me. Because of this funny valve, I am who I am, a fighter, a stubborn, determined girl, who has been through lots of pain but never gives up.

Living with a heart condition is not easy, you always worry about the “what if” because you have bad days. You have been scared and scarred, because you do not know if you will have to lie on that operating table again, but you should be proud of who you are, that you are alive and you are a fighter!

I am scarred for life, or maybe with two permanent tattoos! The tattoos I cannot remove and even if I could, I would not. The scars that remind me every single day I AM ALIVE. They remind me every day of the two battles I have won in my life. They remind me every day of how lucky I am. They remind me every day that life is a precious gift that I should treasure.

On Sunday 9th April, I hoped to be able to help people like me by running the 2017 Brighton Marathon for the Somerville Foundation and raise funds that will help others like me in the future.”

The Somerville Foundation work tirelessly, providing practical and emotional support, to reduce the suffering caused by congenital heart disease and help patients to survive for longer by effectively managing their heart condition.

Four years ago, Anna was recovering from her second life-saving surgery. She has now run her fourth marathon.

“You only live once and I sometimes feel I’m an unstoppable force. I never thought I could do one marathon but here I am doing my fourth. Maybe next year I’ll do another one!”

Congratulations to Anna on finishing with an amazing time of 4h:47m.

You are awesome!