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Introducing an Australian Global Hero… Lance Purdon, Canberra

13 September 2012

As announced, two Australian’s have been named as Global Heroes and will be heading to the US to participate in the Twin Cities Marathon. This is Lance’s story…

A sergeant in the Australian military for more than 20 years, Lance Purdon has seen his share of battles, but none have impacted him more than the on-going health battle he faced as a young soldier.

In his late 20’s, Lance was diagnosed with Sick Sinus Syndrome (SSS). SSS is a type of bradycardia in which the sinus node, which regulates the pace and rhythm of the heartbeat, is not working as it should. A normal heart rate is 60-90 beats per minute, whereas with SSS the heart rate can fall to a risky 40 to 50 beats per minute or less before it is noticed. The condition affects about three out of every 10,000 people and becomes more common with age.

In 2003, Lance was implanted with a Medtronic pacemaker to help return his heart rate to normal.

An avid sportsman, Lance was disappointed to learn he could no longer play contact sport. To fuel his competitive nature (and as an effort to woo his future-wife) he turned to running. Since then, Lance’s drive has led to his participation in an impressive four marathons and two Ironman Triathlons, all with his pacemaker defending his heart.

According to Lance, “My life has been improved by medical technology. I have a hunger to live life to the full and enjoy showing people that having a pacemaker – or any medical device is not a hindrance”.

Lance is running the full marathon with his wife, Australian triathlete Jodie Barker, who will also be participating in the World Championships in New Zealand three weeks after the event.

If you would like to find out more about the program or know of a keen runner living with a medical device visit  

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