A young Fife widow whose husband dropped dead just four months ago has raised an astonishing £22,000 to help boost awareness of cardiac conditions.
Former Kirkcaldy man Robert Rowan was just 28 when he died suddenly from a cardiomyopathy episode in November.
The technical director of Championship side Brentford FC had no idea he was suffering from a heart condition and his death was described as a brutal shock for his friends and family, particularly wife Suzanne.
In the weeks that followed, Suzanne came across the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (Cry), which supports young people living with cardiac ill health and the anxiety it brings.
The Glenrothes woman decided to plough her energy into doing something positive for the organisation and on Sunday, she and 10 friends completed the London Landmarks Half Marathon in Robert’s memory.
The money the group raised will fund screenings to help other young people potentially affected by undiagnosed heart conditions and raise awareness of the risks.
The family have worked with Brentford FC and Cry to set up the club’s first screening day in May in memory of Robert and it is hoped up to 100 young people will be tested.
Robert, a former pupil of St Andrews RC High in Kirkcaldy, previously worked as a sporting director for Stenhousemuir FC and as a scout for the SFA and Celtic.
He was described as a charismatic personality who was outgoing and full of fun.
Close friend Debbie Millar said: “He was genuinely the best person you could meet.
“He was so caring and generous and took a lot of pride in his work.
“Suzanne has taken each day one at a time, one step at a time.
“Having lost her soulmate she questioned her future and what it might hold and it was by freak chance she came across Cry.”
According to the charity, at least 12 people aged between 14 and 35 die of undiagnosed heart conditions in the UK every week.
“Suzanne’s mission is simple and clear: to raise money to fund screenings, to diagnose problems and to save other young lives,” said Debbie.
Sunday’s half marathon was the first run Suzanne and the rest of the team had ever done and she admitted to being nervous beforehand.
“I’m completely overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity and delighted that I and my team of 10 runners have raised nearly £22,000 for Cardiac Risk in the Young,” she said.
Suzanne’s fundraising page can be found at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SuzanneRowan