Carmel man overcomes heart condition, trains for Boston Marathon

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — At age 22, Chris Jones knew something wasn’t quite right with his body.

“The symptoms I started feeling were like if I crossed the street too fast, or walked up a flight of stairs, I would feel very winded and I thought I was out of shape,” Jones said.

Jones was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, it’s when the muscle separating the two chambers in the heart thicken. At age 25, the symptoms were so bad he ended up getting open heart surgery at the Mayo clinic in Minnesota.

“After you have open heart surgery you’re pretty weak, so I was working on just getting out of bed, trying to be on my feet. I did a lot of mall walking,” he said.

Jones changed his diet and eating habits then got hooked on running.

Jones is trying to qualify for the marathon as a charity runner, meaning he needs to raise $10,000 by race day this April. He’s already raised $2,000 for the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation.

“I’ve run three half marathons, I don’t know how many 5ks and 10ks, all in the last 6 months. It’s really taken off,” he said.

“Joe was a boy, they lived in the Boston area, and he had Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, just like me, just like Harper, and he died a handful of years ago,” Jones said.

Chris’ 4-year-old daughter Harper has the genes that could potentially develop into Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. She’s tested regularly for it.

Chris is hoping that as more people become aware of this disease.

“It’s wild there is so much publicity in the sports world about it, and yet its not standard and normal for schools and pediatricians to check for this,” he said.

If you want to help raise money for Chris’ cause, you can click here.