Mumbai: A 70-strong contingent of heart patients from the renowned Asian Heart Institute (AHI) will join 39,000 fit runners Sunday at the high-profile 9th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, an official said here Saturday.
They have been inspired by none other than ace tennis champion Vijay Amritraj, 58, who has undergone an angioplasty and a multiple muscular surgery.
The contingent would be led by Ramakant Panda, eminent cardiac surgeon who operated on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh three years ago.
"Vijay Amritraj is one of the few sportspersons who straddles generations and is a global icon of fitness and health. He is a brave-heart who inspires other heart patients," said Panda, AHI`s chairman-cum-managing director.
Amritraj said that he aspired to be a medical doctor in his early days.
"Unfortunately, my association with the medical fraternity remained limited to visiting hospitals as an asthma patient," he said.
He was advised by his medicos to take up tennis as a sport which would enable his lungs to function better.
"I eventually got my `doctor`-ate by hitting aces on the tennis court," he said.
Amritraj, who is one of the co-Event Ambassadors along with Bollywood star John Abraham, added that his global charitable organization supports 19 charitable organizations and NGOs in India.