It’s a big occasion for Alex Baines this year, as he and his family celebrate his twenty-first birthday in Sheffield.
At just five months old Alex underwent a heart operation for a narrowed aortic valve.
Since then dad Graham has fundraised for Heart Research UK, and this year will do the Great North Run to bring in yet more cash, with daughter Laura alongside him.
The surgeon who completed the procedure that replaced Alex’s aortic valve, Kevin Watterson, is a trustee for Heart Research UK, and Mr Baines likes to ‘give something back’ to both Mr Watterson and the charity by his efforts.
He will also turn 50 this year, as Alex is 21, and it is Heart Research UK’s fiftieth anniversary too.
Alex still has check-ups every 12 to 18 months, but is doing very well and is working hard as a college student.
Graham said his son’s heart condition has given the family “a greater appreciation for spending time together.”
They enjoy their weekends, spending time out walking and going to football matches.
Both Alex and his dad are big football fans and plan to tour all the premiership stadiums.
Fundraising for Heart Research UK is definitely a family affair for the Baines’. Graham said that the work he has done with the charity has been a fantastic experience.
He added: “I get a lot of support and it is very much a two-way relationship.”
Anyone wishing to donate to Graham’s run on his just giving page can do so by visiting the following link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Graham-Baines1