Debbie Dixon nominated for Pride of Britain award due to fundraising for Aaron

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A mum who made it her mission to screen all young people for heart defects after her son’s death has been nominated for a Pride of Britain award.

Debbie Dixon’s world was shattered in 2011 when 23-year-old Aaron died suddenly at home. A coroner later told her that Aaron, a keen footballer and gym-goer, had an undetected genetic heart defect called arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) that can cause cardiac arrest.

So she went on to launch the Aaron Dixon Memorial Fund in conjunction with the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young to raise money for screening. In 10 years, Debbie has secured £700,000 – enough to screen more than 8,030 people aged between 18 and 35 for ARVC. Of those, 323 were found to have abnormalities and were referred.

Last year, Debbie, 63, was given a Pride of Manchester Special Recognition award after reaching the £500,000 milestone – and she is thrilled to now be nominated for a national award. The mum-of-two, from Manchester, says: “It’s amazing. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t do this for awards, but it’s nice to be recognised.”