Christmas is coming and we are celebrating. Celebrating our fabulous fundraisers! When lockdown gave way to liberation, our supporters picked up where they left off, running marathons, swimming lakes, cycling long distances and walking even longer distances. Today we throw the spotlight on Freddie Beard who, with his sister Alex, swam the Serpentine! 


A rare condition, Marfan syndrome is rarely talked of and all too little known amongst public and professionals. But not in Hornchurch, it seems! During his teens, Freddie had a pigeon chest and was rapidly losing weight. He was seen by a young junior doctor who had come across MFS during his studies and quickly identified that Freddie was suffering from this condition. In doing so, he saved Freddie’s life. Open-heart surgery during his university studies has allowed Freddie to live a normal life and spared him from the silent killer that is aortic dissection. Freddie is the only member of his family to have MFS but it doesn’t make him feel any different!

“Hello to everyone reading this! We are a Brother and Sister Team who followed in our dad’s footsteps in conquering the 2-mile swim of Hyde Park’s Serpentine this September, all in aid of the Marfan Trust. Having been diagnosed with the condition as a 16-year-old, I (Freddie) am conquering my condition, and my fear of the open water to help out with the great causes and research on Marfan to help any who will be, or are diagnosed with the condition. 

The swim was a toughie! But I managed to pull through and swim a time of 1 hour 1 minute and 52 seconds which I was personally very happy to achieve. Knowing that I had everyone’s support kept me going, along with the encouragement of my amazing girlfriend, my family and my friends.

Being able to achieve this with my sister, who herself overcame many hurdles to conquer the course with a great time of 1 hour 30 mins was so amazing. We pushed each other through our training and we were there for one another before and after the race. I couldn’t be prouder of her, so well done sis, here’s to the next physical challenge 💪🏻

It was a massive personal challenge for me too, but it was one I was delighted to overcome to support the work towards Marfan syndrome. I also hope that it helps anyone else who is, or may become diagnosed, to know that it doesn’t hold you back from achieving your goals. To quote Back To The Future’s Doc Brown “if you put your mind to it you can achieve anything!” and I truly believe that applies to all of us with Marfan syndrome.

So let’s celebrate now, and here’s to all those with Marfan! You are not alone and there is nothing that can stop us!”

Freddie and Alex raised £2,223 for the Trust. Thank you!!!!!

The Marfan Trust is registered in England and Wales under charity number 328070 at Guy Scadding Building, Dovehouse Street, London SW3 6LY. Contact us at [email protected] or by phone on + 44 (0)20 7594 1605
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