Big Give Christmas Challenge 2023

Saving lives from FH

One donation. Twice the impact.

Our Big Give Christmas Challenge 2023 for families with FH has raised an incredible £16,365.25 including Gift Aid! 

Thank you to everyone who has donated to save a life of someone with FH - an inherited high cholesterol condition meaning familial hypercholesterolaemia which affects 1 in 250 people. 

People with FH can have high cholesterol from a young age, putting them at risk of premature heart disease. HEART UK is working to increase public awareness of FH,  advocate for the national roll-out of child-parent screening for FH and support families affected. 

See the results of our Big Give 2023

Amie was told she could have heart disease in her forties

In December 2000, my dad had two heart attacks and then required a quadruple bypass. The cause was high levels of cholesterol.

I was 12 when my cholesterol levels were first tested, as advised by my dad's specialist.  They were high. I was immediately put on a diet that was low in saturated fat and prescribed medication which I took on and off over the years as I had difficulties tolerating them. I was told at a young age that I could have heart disease and heart attacks at about age 40 and, as I’ve been getting closer to the age, the panic has crept in. 

In Dec 2017, I was put forward by my specialist to have the genetic test to actually see which gene I had as new medication had just come out in an injection form . The results revealed what I already knew, that I have FH (familial hypercholesterolaeima), but I have the APOB gene. In fact, I am the first person in the Black Country to be officially diagnosed with FH from the genetic test. I was then put on a fortnightly injection to control my cholesterol.

I had to wait a few more months for the children test to be cleared for my son to be tested. The chance of him inheriting it was 50:50. I felt really worried and nervous as the weeks dragged on while I was waiting.  I was so grateful to discover that my son hasn't inherited the faulty gene, so thankfully FH ends with me in my family. 

As FH is higher risk for premature heart disease, you have to be informed and stay ahead of the condition. That's why HEART UK's work raising awareness, advocating screening for FH and supporting families is so vital.

FH has had a massive impact on Emma's life

Both of my parents were very slim, ate healthily, and were active, yet my Dad was diagnosed with high cholesterol back in 1990. Devastatingly my Mum died of a heart attack aged only 66.

I was strongly advised to have a cholesterol test by our family GP and my cholesterol level was 8.4 and I was immediately put on statins. I was pretty shocked to discover that I had such high cholesterol.

The doctors had been encouraging me to have a test for FH since my Mum passed away, but to be honest I was scared. As I was on statins and my cholesterol levels had reduced so I kept putting it off. I am very slim (5ft 6” and 7 1/2 stone) exercise a lot and eat healthily but recently had a test which confirms FH and Lipoprotein(a).

Both FH and Lipoprotein(a)  can lead to early heart disease. I’m keeping up my fit and healthy lifestyle, and eating well too while still needing medication.

"The advice and support I got from the HEART UK helpline has been invaluable for my health and peace of mind.” Pip Pegler, West Sussex

Please donate to HEART UK via the Big Give Christmas Challenge website between 28 November and 5 November 2023 to help families affected by inherited high cholesterol and your donation can be doubled

Find out more here