Heart of London Bridges Walk in memory of Harley Curtis Brandon

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This walk was chosen by Harley’s Grandad Doug as his fundraising event for this year.

Michelle Bourne (Harley’s mum) and Doug’s friend Stan Van Geleen did it with him.

Family and friends miss Harley so very much and it’s made harder by not having a solid answer to why he’s gone, not ever knowing anything about SADs until we lost him and even more so that a simple screening may have meant he would still be with us.

I would like to thank everyone who sponsored us for the walk.

Douglas was sponsored by Friends, Staff & Patrons of the Eagle Public House and by colleagues at Reynolds Catering Supplies.

Michelle was sponsored both by friends of  hers and Harley’s dad Charles Brandon, also colleagues at both Redlands & Kaizen Primary School.

Stan Van Geleen made a personal donation and his most important role was to support his good friend Doug (as he always does in every event organised) on the walk.

Thank you also to Stacey Ladley a colleague of Doug’s also took part with her family to show support for Doug’s family loss, they were independently sponsored by friends, family & colleagues.

This is the first time we have taken part in a CRY organised event as I have found it very difficult to come to terms with losing my son.

We and other family & friends have always organised our own events, but we thought we would try this one.

I can honestly say I realised very quickly seeing all those families and friends of others lost as Harley was that I was not ready to talk to other people face to face.

I can say with all honesty my heart was broken that morning on the 3rd of January 2016 and every week my thoughts turn to those people who will have suffered the same loss. To see some of those people all in one place and just getting snippets of their stories from pictures and print on their t-shirts or overhearing bits of conversation just made me cry and even more sad.

It also made me angry that despite all CRY’s campaigning efforts for so many years the National Screening Committee does not think these losses warrant a screening programme for young people.

Whilst on the walk we did come across one family walking to support CRY’s campaign because a screening had saved their son’s life. I am going to be honest and say whilst it was nice to see that campaigning and fundraising had helped that family, it was also very hard for me too knowing Harley had not had that chance.

May be next year I’ll be able to do the walk again and maybe I’ll feel I am able to talk to others.

Michelle Bourne