12 young people die in the UK every day from an underlying heart condition

Please help us to reduce these statistics by taking part in the Half4Hearts challenge in memory on Ben McDonald.

The Cardiff Half Marathon is scheduled to go ahead on 3rd October this year and so Calon Hearts would love for as many people as possible to take part in memory of Ben McDonald. Ben tragically lost his life at the finish line of after competing in the Cardiff Half Marathon in October 2018, when he was just 25 years old.

We encourage you to part in the Cardiff Half Marathon Sunday 3rd October or any walking/running event around this time to remember Ben. You could even take part in a Half4Hearts virtual Half Marathon anywhere in Wales. You can run, jog or walk the distance of 13.1 miles and help us raise much needed funds for Calon Hearts, to hold heart screening sessions throughout Wales and in doing so, remembering Ben McDonald.


Signing up to be a part of Half4Hearts

Sign up to the Official Cardiff Half Marathon here

Register online  

If you’re under 18 you’ll need a parent or guardian to sign up with you.

Get sponsored every step or every mile. 

Create your own JustGiving or fundraising page so all your friends, family and colleagues can support you.

Set your fundraising target, there’s no minimum sponsorship, but a target of £85 or more is a great place to start as this will pay for 1 screening session for someone aged 8 to 45 years.

Wear yellow on 7th October - the day ben tragically died - to remember him. 

Remember to share your posts and photos on social media and tag us @CalonScreening and use the hashtags #Half4Hearts #Run4Ben #CalonHearts so we can keep up with your posts. 



The Ben McDonald Heart Screening Fund for Wales

The Ben McDonal Heart Screening Fund for Wales

The Ben Mcdonald Heart Screening Fund for Wales was set up in August 2019 to work towards screening young hearts in wales, so that no young person dies of an undiagnosed heart condition. the fund is working towards a total of £1,00,000 so we can screen as many young people in Wales as possible, a fantastic £16,977.59  has been raised thus far. 

Many lives have been saved already by our heart screenings, more recently we screened a young man who is now an ambassador of The Ben McDonald Heart Screening For Wales Fund, Chris Morse who was found to have a heart condition. 


Chris’s story 

An avid gym goer has shown his support for the charity Calon Hearts, after he credited their heart screening initiative for saving his life.

Chris Morse, a personal trainer from Carmarthen, said:

“I’m a frequent gym goer with no history of any heart related problems within my family.

I attended a Calon Hearts screening at David Lloyd gym in Cardiff on April 13th 2019, just under two weeks prior to my 33rd birthday.

I hadn’t previously suffered from any heart related problems, and thought I was in good physical health. I would never have even contemplated going for a heart check-up had I not been at the gym the day of the Welsh Hearts screening clinic.”

After undergoing an ECG and follow up echocardiogram scan at the clinic, cardiologists were able to diagnose Chris with a large aortic aneurysm, bicuspid aortic valve and a severely enlarged left ventricle. He was admitted into the University Hospital Wales immediately, where he then underwent open heart surgery.

Chris adds: “Thankfully the surgery was a success, and six months on, I am back to full health and feeling great. My parents and brother received follow up checks which thankfully came back all clear with no issues. My advice to anyone reading this would be to get yourself down to a Calon Hearts screening clinic and get yourself examined. It will take a matter of minutes and could undoubtedly save your life, as I am sure it did for me.”

Calon Hearts Charity Director Sharon Owen said: “So many heart conditions go undetected in young people, because they’re seemingly fit and healthy. To know that our heart screening initiative has picked up conditions that would have turned out to be fatal really emphasises the importance of heart screening, because it could have been a very different story if Chris hadn’t been at the gym on that day. We echo Chris’ message that everyone aged 8-45 should get themselves screened. It’s a simple test really could save your life.” 

Read more Calon Hearts lifesaving stories like Lorraine's story, Becky's story and Leigh's Story

 Screening Collage


You can learn more about heart screenings here. You can also keep in touch about upcoming screenings, you can subscribe to our screenings mailing list here. 


Links to Ben's News Stories

BBC - Cardiff Half Marathon death: Family's hope for more defibrillators

Wales Online - Two runners who died after finishing the Cardiff Half Marathon 

The One Moment - Ruth McDonalds Blog (Ben's Mum)