Great Tesco Walk: Hole in my heart 'filled with support' from BHF & Diabetes UK

Jez Butwell

Stores Director - North London
North London

14 Sep 2017

Heart surgery support from Tesco's charity partners British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK.

I know how support from the British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK can dramatically change your life for the better. A possible heart transplant at 40 years-old brought home their importance. 

I’ve seen how my colleagues pull together to fundraise for the Tesco National Charity Partnership. From painting local scout huts to holding street parties or cooking dinner for the elderly, their enthusiasm and passion is humbling. Tesco has raised over £21m since the start of the partnership in 2015. This money has changed the lives of thousands of people across the UK who are living with heart disease or diabetes.

Holes in my heart

In 2000, I was diagnosed with two holes in my heart which needed surgery. I was so frightened of having an operation and of dying. My eldest daughter, Evie had just been born, I felt hugely responsible for providing for my family.

I had open heart surgery - one of the holes in my heart was sewn up, the other was patched in 2001. While also having my valves reconfigured to control blood flow.

My heart was noticeably better. I can run without getting out of breath. I’ve now fully recovered and live a normal life. I have a bi-annual check-up and my heart performance has improved. Without this life saving surgery, I would have needed a transplant at 40 years old!

Help from Diabetes UK

I’m very careful about what I eat now. Diabetes UK has really helped educate me, my diet has improved and I’m mindful of the treats I give to my daughters. They use an app. on their phones to check sugar levels. I’ve noticed that they make healthier choices about what to eat too.

I’ve raised money for the National Charity Partnership through cycling around all my local stores and completing the London to Brighton bike ride. I’ve also grown a beard (which my 5 daughters hate) and hosted three charity dinner dances. I’m proud to say that I’ve raised over £12,500 through JustGiving.

The Great Tesco Walk

I want to do more, which is why I’m doing a leg of The Great Tesco Walk. I’m looking forward to chatting and walking with my team to raise money and awareness for the National Charity Partnership.

Good luck if you’re inspired to take part, you are awesome! When you’ve finished, sit down, smile to yourself and know that you did a good thing.


To learn more about the National Charity Partnership and it's programmes to encourage better health, such as walking with 'Beat the Street', click here:

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