CRY forges ahead as their All Party Parliamentary Group gains its 100th member

9th February 2007

Today, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), the UK’s number one charity for reducing young sudden cardiac death, is pleased to announce that the Cardiac Risk in the Young All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has gained its 100th member. This milestone achievement represents unprecedented interest and places CRY’s agenda in an elite list of influential lobby groups which includes theAll Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group and the Disability Group APPG. The Cardiac Risk in the Young APPG’s 100thmember is the Rt Hon Don Touhig, MP for Islwyn and Chair, Kevan Jones, is delighted to welcome him on board.

Don Touhig decided to join the Cardiac Risk in the Young APPG due to the experience of one of his constituents, Barry Rowland. Barry commented; “Until my wife Donna died in December 2005 I was unaware of sudden cardiac death syndrome but contact with the charity has made me eager to make others aware. I am pleased that my MP Don Touhig has joined the committee in support of not only myself but all those who have lost loved ones to sudden adult death”.

Mr. Touhig said: “I am delighted to join the Cardiac Risk in the Young All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). I know that CRY has done a tremendous job in providing support to families as well as raising awareness of Sudden Death Syndrome in the young.”

Touhig continued: “I look forward to working with other Parliamentary colleagues to continue this good work.”

The APPG for CRY spans the three major political parties and is an influential force within parliament. March 2006 marked the 1stanniversary of the introduction of Chapter 8: Arrhythmias and Sudden Cardiac Death of the National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease. CRY carried out a survey of the Primary Care Trusts (PCT’s) which highlighted how few had managed to develop a strategy for implementing any of the new Chapter’s specific guidelines for children and young people. The impact of this survey has been maximized by the Cardiac Risk in the Young APPG which in nine months has grown by nearly 15%.

Alison Cox, chief executive of CRY said: “This landmark achievement is symbolic of the progress CRY has made since its inception in May 1995. I am passionately committed to raising awareness of Cardiac Risk in the Young and the Cardiac Risk in the Young APPG is a key factor in the progress we have made.”

CRY’s robust campaign to raise awareness of young sudden cardiac death is proving effective – 65% of the general public are aware that the condition is something which can affect people aged 35 and under. Significantly, nearly 30% knew of a young person who had died from an unexplained or sudden cardiac death. With the significant lobbying power of the Cardiac Risk in the Young APPG these awareness statistics can only improve.

CRY campaigns to reduce the incidence and impact of young sudden cardiac death and supports those diagnosed. Every week, at least 8 apparently fit and healthy young people die in the UK from undiagnosed heart conditions. Expert evaluation by a cardiac specialist is vital if these unnecessary deaths are to be reduced. As Cox illustrates: “It is this level of expertise which should be accessible to all and is crucial if specific cardiac problems are to be properly identified and young lives are to be saved.”