Charity supporters congregate in Central London as they step out together to save young lives
Later this month [June 24th] families from across the UK will be travelling to the heart of London to take part in the annual awareness walk organised by a leading heart charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).
The CRY Heart of London Bridges Walk is now in its 12th year and is one of the flagship events in the charity’s calendar, raising well over three-quarters of a million pounds to date since its launch in 2007.
Around 1400 people will walk together, passing by 12 of London’s most famous landmarks, representing the deaths of the 12 apparently “fit and healthy” young people (35 & under) who die every week in the UK from young, sudden, cardiac death (YSCD).
International Opera singer and former Director of the National Opera Studio, Kathryn Harries1, will be officially starting the Walk at 11am on June 24th2 Kathryn, a Patron of CRY, was the inspiration for the first ever ‘Bridges Walk’ following her own, personal marathon effort in 2007, when she walked 32 miles across London in 12 hours. Just a week later, she led 400 families and friends of CRY over London’s bridges, in what has grown into the charity’s largest annual event.
Kathryn says; “I am so pleased that the Heart of London Bridges Walk has become one of CRY’s key annual events. I am full of admiration for the team at CRY, who put everything together so brilliantly each year, and I am in absolute awe of the men, women and children who walk in memory of their lost loved ones. It’s an honour to be involved and I’m humbled that an idea I had more than 10 years ago has been realised in such an amazing way.”
In 80% of cases of young sudden cardiac death (YSCD) there will have been no signs or symptoms, which is why CRY believes proactive cardiac screening is so vitally important. As such, CRY now tests around 27,000 young people each year aged between 14 and 35 – and over 165,000 since the screening programme was launched in 1995. One in every 300 young people tested by CRY will be identified with a potentially life-threatening condition.
Chief Executive of the charity, Dr. Steven Cox adds; “CRY’s Heart of London Bridges Walk is always a very emotional and poignant day and, over the past 12 years, it has really focused on raising awareness and remembering those young people who have died, as well as helping to raise funds to save young lives.
“It also provides an opportunity for our supporters to come together and meet up with other families who will have been through a similar experience. Just as CRY Patron Kathryn pledged all those years ago, I also hope this event will continue to ‘grow and grow’!
Dr Cox adds; “We are immensely grateful to everyone taking part this year, many of whom will have been affected in some way by the devastating impact of a sudden cardiac death in a young person close to them – and we know that so many people from their local area will be supporting them every step of the way.”
Thanks to an inspiring level of continued support since 1995 from the public, bereaved families and many businesses and community organisations across the UK, CRY has been able to develop a unique range of services from research and fast-track pathology through to a specialist Network of Bereavement Support, as well as its pioneering screening programme.
For more media information, please call Jo Hudson or Katie Coombs on 020 7112 4905 / 0770 948 7959 or firstname.lastname@example.org / www.c-r-y-.org.uk
1 Since stepping down from the NOS last June, international soprano, Kathryn Harries has become a professor of singing at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. She continues to lead the Kiri programme in New Zealand, which promotes the development of exceptionally gifted young New Zealand singers and she works regularly with the Young Artists at NI Opera in Belfast.
2 Walkers will depart from Potters Fields Park, SE1 2AA at 11am
NOTES TO EDITORS:
• CRY was founded in May 1995. CRY also works closely with a number of MPs to try and improve awareness of sudden cardiac death in young people. This has resulted in the creation of the Cardiac Risk in the Young All Party Parliamentary Group
• Young Sudden Cardiac Death (YSCD) is caused by a number of different heart conditions that affect fit and healthy young people which, when left untreated can cause a cardiac arrest.
• CRY offers support to those who have suffered a loss through a unique network of affected families & specially trained bereavement supporters
• CRY funds the CRY Inherited Cardiovascular Disease Clinic and the CRY Centre for Sports Cardiology at St George’s Hospital London – where its internationally acclaimed research programme is based
• CRY funds the CRY Centre for Cardiac Pathology, a fast-track expert cardiac pathology service for bereaved families, also based at St George’s Hospital. www.cry-ccp.org.uk
• CRY’s myheart network offers help, support and information to young people who are coping with a diagnosis of a heart condition. https://www.myheart.org.uk/