NEWS: Birmingham run will raise funds and awareness

Posted on April 13th 2022

PRESS RELEASE | 13th April 2022

A fundraising run in Birmingham will celebrate the life of a local woman who died from pulmonary hypertension.

Taking place next month at Cannon Hill Park, the 5km event will remember Sabbah Wasim, who lived in Balsall Heath. She was just 41 when she lost her life last year.

The celebration on Sunday 8 May is being organised by Balsall Heath-based Sähëlï Hub, where Sabbah had volunteered as a Trustee for over 20 years. All proceeds will go to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA UK).

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) affects just 8,000 people in the UK and is caused by the thickening and stiffening of the blood vessels supplying the lungs (pulmonary arteries). The reduced blood flow makes it harder for the right side of the heart to pump blood through the arteries, which can result in heart failure.

Sabbah was diagnosed with the condition in 2019 and died last June. She dedicated 21 years to her role as Treasurer at Sähëlï Hub and the event is being organised in celebration of her life and her commitment to helping others.

Naseem Akhtar is CEO of Sähëlï Hub, a volunteer-led organisation which works to empower women in Birmingham by providing fitness activities and healthy lifestyle advice.

She said: “Sabbah was the most committed and supportive Trustee, a cheerleader for Sähëlï Hub. She joined as a girl at 20 and blossomed into an amazing woman. She was fiercely loyal, totally independent, hardworking, and generous with her time and commitment to us, her family and friends.

“Sabbah will remain in our hearts and our minds as we will miss her presence at all our activities and events in the future. We are grateful that the easing of covid restrictions means we are finally able to celebrate her life with this special event, and we would love to see as many people as possible joining us in her memory.”

The family-friendly event starts at 12pm and the 5km route around the park can be completed by walking, jogging or running. Prams and pushchairs are welcome.

Entry costs £10 for adults or £5 for those under 16. Children aged four or under can take part free of charge. You can find out more or enter here.

Dr Iain Armstrong, Chair of the PHA UK, said: “We are very touched that The Sähëlï Hub Trustees and team have chosen to support our charity in this special way. Pulmonary hypertension is rare, and often misunderstood, so we hope this event will also generate valuable awareness of the condition.

“Every penny raised in Sabbah’s memory will enable us to help more people affected by PH, and we are extremely grateful for the support from this remarkable group of women at Sähëlï Hub.”

The main symptom of pulmonary hypertension is breathlessness. Other symptoms may include dizziness, feeling faint, swelling of the feet or ankles, and chest pain (particularly during exercise). The life-limiting condition has no cure but can be managed with specialist care.

The PHA UK is based in Sheffield and works nationally to support people affected by pulmonary hypertension.

This online fundraising page has been set up for people to donate to the PHA UK in memory of Sabbah Wasim.