CHAMPION charity fundraiser Afruz Miah from Coppice is spearheading a pack of runners as they traverse the near 4,000 miles from Britain to the Yemen.

And then back again.

And it’s all in a bid to help children from Greater Manchester.

Afruz, 47, is heading the charge to rack-up the yards to raise money for Lagan’s Foundation, whose volunteers go into the homes of families where children have serious heart conditions and offer their parents and carers some much-needed respite.

Big-hearted Afruz knows all about the physical and emotional problems of facing a cardiac condition. Because believe it or not, the serial campaigner who now pounds 12 kms a day for good causes, was informed less than a year ago that he should expect a heart attack at any moment – because he was so unfit.

He said: “I was told by my GP that I was developing hypertension and had the choice of medication for the rest of my life or getting fit.

"When my wife heard the news, she was shaking” said the father-of-four who works as a maths tutor.

Adding-up that he needed to improve his lifestyle, he then ran a 100 kms for Westwood High School a few months later!

Now in the shape of his life, he is aiming to do 600 of the kilometres himself and inspire his team of runners to complete their task – whether by running in the park or even on a treadmill in their front room – before December 31.

He continued: “I think Lagan’s is a fantastic charity, but I am also mindful that children in places such as the Yemen don’t even receive healthcare, let alone the vital support that Lagan’s offers to support parents.

"That is why aside from promoting them, I am also hoping to raise cash for children in Yemen, who are suffering from malnutrition and hypothermia. The idea that a new born child can do of the cold horrifies me, and that’s why some of the money we collect will go to the Global Relief Network, who are on the ground in the Yemen.”

A percentage of the cash raised will also go to Maggie’s at the Royal Oldham Hospital – after Afruz’s mother developed and survived breast cancer.

He added: “There are still taboos around the disease in the South Asian community and people believe a diagnosis of cancer is a death sentence. I want to change that view.”

Carren Bell, who formed Lagan’s Foundation following the passing of her baby daughter Lagan to a heart condition, added: “We are determined to help as many needy families as possible and Afruz is doing so much to raise our profile and break down barriers of communication.

"The only thing parents have to do is contact us and we are there to offer everything from sitting up at night to ensure a child is sleeping safely to organising feeds to help a baby, young person or child who is not getting the correct nutrition.”

To donate to Lagan’s, please contact 01204 800300 email or visit