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Collier Row teenager is thrilled to take on London to Brighton bike ride

PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 June 2018 | UPDATED: 08:37 18 June 2018

Max Burke, 14, will be taking on the London to Brighton bike ride.

Max Burke, 14, will be taking on the London to Brighton bike ride.

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A 14-year-old born with a rare heart condition has eagerly waited until he was old enough to finally take on the London to Brighton bike ride and support a heart charity.

Max Burke was born with a congenital heart defect and underwent open heart surgery when he was only nine days old.Max Burke was born with a congenital heart defect and underwent open heart surgery when he was only nine days old.

Max Burke, of Collier Row, will be cycling 54 miles from Clapham Common to the Brighton Seafront on Sunday, June 17 to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

“I have always wanted to do this event ever since I can remember,” Max said.

“My dad, [Christopher Burke] did his first ride in 2000 when my older sister was eight months old. This year is his 15th time taking part.”

Max was born with a rare condition which means that his two main arteries were the wrong way round.

Not enough oxygen was able to get into Max’s body. He was also born with a hole in his heart.

When he was nine days old, Max underwent the life saving surgery of a switch operation.

He told the Recorder: “I was cared for by the amazing Great Ormond Street Hospital and by my hero Dr Robert Yates.

“Myself, parents and my older sister – who was also born with the same condition which is not genetic – are all so very grateful to him and his team for the amazing work they did.”

Transposition of the great arteries is an extremely rare condition, and Max’s parents are the only couple in the UK who have two children surviving with this heart condition.

“I recently completed my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award and later in the summer I’m going on an adventure holiday to Switzerland with the Explorer Scouts,” Max added.

“I certainly do not let my start in life affect me now, and I want to raise some money as a thank you to the British Heart Foundation for all the research they do, because otherwise mine and my sister’s story could have been quite different.

“So please give as much as you can to this charity because your generosity will one day save someone’s life and give them the opportunities that I have.”

To support Max visit his justgiving page.

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