The Terrace Marquee, Westminster – 27th November
Guest of Honour: Andy Scott, CRY Patron and former professional footballer.
In the words of Alison Cox MBE (Chief Executive and founder of CRY) the charity’s latest booklet “Young, fit and suddenly diagnosed with a life threatening heart condition…” – which was officially unveiled at CRY’s annual parliamentary reception [27th November 2013] – featured “photos of 11 young people in bright colours, rather than the black and white we have used for our bereavement booklets”.
Reflecting this theme, the mood of this year’s Parliamentary Reception was positive yet reflective and allowed attendees to celebrate the many hundreds of hundreds of young people whose lives have been saved due to screening, early diagnosis, greater understanding and improved awareness.
It was also a great honour to welcome for the first time CRY Patron, Sir Steve Redgrave – who has himself been touched by young sudden cardiac death when his best friend and training partner died beside him in his home, from a previously undiagnosed heart condition.
Introduced by CRY’s Chairman, Hugh Mulcahey, the attendees (who included cross party MPs, bereaved families, members of the myheart group, CRY’s Research Fellows, trustees and patrons) listened to a very powerful line up of speakers.
Mike Gapes MP, spoke movingly about the sudden death of his only daughter Rebecca just last year and the immense support he received from CRY and the bereavement support network.
He was followed by former professional footballer (now football manager) Andy Scott, whose professional career came to an abrupt end when he was suddenly diagnosed, by CRY’s own Consultant Cardiologist, Professor Sanjay Sharma, with a potentially fatal heart condition. However, just as the authors from the new booklet had described, he told the audience that this had not held him back, just taken him in a different direction.
Over 30 MPs and Lords came along to meet and mingle with other delegates, including long term supporters, Kevan Jones MP, Sir Roger Gale MP, Dr John Pugh MP, Tim Loughton MP and CRY’s local MP, Crispin Blunt (Reigate).
It was also wonderful to welcome the new Shadow Minister for Public Health, Luciana Berger MP and Shadow Minister for Children and Families, Steven McCabe MP.
As in previous years, the reception received very positive feedback from all those who attended. The event was powerful reminder of CRY’s ongoing work and pioneering initiatives and was a fitting way to thank our staff and many fantastic supporters, especially during the charity’s 18th birthday year!
(Photos by James McCauley)