Amy Thorley

Amy Thorley l2b rider holding her bike

At just 21, Amy's world changed forever. She heard the news everyone dreads. Her dad, Allen Bower, had suffered a fatal heart attack.

Losing my dad like that, at such a young age, has had a real effect on my attitude to life, and now I Just think 'Why not?' 

He had returned from a canal boat holiday in the UK with Amy’s mum Carol when he suddenly collapsed and died in front of her on the tow path, aged 63. Now Amy is taking on this year’s London to Brighton Bike Ride for the first time, in memory of her father and to help support the BHF’s life saving research. 

Amy has always struggled with her weight. But 18 months ago Amy weighted over 20 stone and was at her heaviest. With three young girls to think about, and the memory of losing her dad still fresh in her mind, Amy decided to lose eight stone by her 40th birthday in July 2017. She began running 5ks along the coast and took up swimming regularly. The weight quickly dropped and soon Amy wanted an event to train towards, to take up something new. 

“Losing my dad like that, at such a young age, has had a real effect on my attitude to life, and now I just think ‘Why not?’. It’s this attitude that’s led me to take on the London to Brighton Bike Ride, because, why not do something new and challenge myself? My friend did it last year and I want to prove to the world that just because I’m overweight, doesn’t mean I’m not healthy. If he can do it, so can I!”  

“The first training session was hard. I just remember my thighs burning and telling myself to keep going. I think I only covered one or two miles. But I was determined to prove that I could do it, so I got back on the bike the next day, and the next. Five months later and here I am, in February 2017, able to cycle 16 miles a day!”

Now, one year into her 18 month weight loss journey, Amy has dropped an incredible five stone and is well on track towards being ready to take on the 54 mile cycle from London to Brighton. Amy is determined that London to Brighton will be the challenge she needs to lose her last three stone, and get to her target weight by 40.  

Heart attack history

Our life saving research over the past 50 years has helped to revolutionise treatments which means that around 70% of people now survive a heart attack

But there is still so much more we can do. By participating in London to Brighton 2018 and fundraising, you could make such a difference to our research. We we've got loads of tips and tools to help you on your way!

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