Siblings to tackle Great North Run
Five Armagh brothers, and their sister, are taking part in the Great North Run on Sunday to raise funds for CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young).
Sam, Davy, Mark, Johnny, and Matthew Nicholson, and sister Ruth, will undertake the run which is just over 13 miles.
Last year they successfully completed the Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon to raise £8,000 for the local charity and the siblings are hoping to better that this time around.
The money raised from last year's fundraising effort helped buy the equipment for the charity which screens young people for heart defects.
And with several high-profile deaths of young people in the last month, the Nicholson's are hoping that people will be generous in their sponsorship.
"We chose the charity last year because my brother Matthew and sister were very good friends with John McCall," explained Sam Nicholson.
"John had led the Royal School to Schools' Cup success on St Patrick's Day in 2004, but 11 days later whilst playing in the World Cup for Ireland Under 19s against New Zealand, he suffered heart failure and died.
"Matthew knew John very well through rugby and Ruth was in the same class as him at school, so raising funds for the charity means a lot to them especially.
"We were delighted that the money raised last year went towards the purchase of testing equipment at Jordanstown University but following the recent deaths of young people throughout Ireland , it just brings everything all back."
Only this month two young GAA players died suddenly in County Tyrone and in Spain, international footballer Antonio Puerta died three days after collapsing on the field during a Primera Liga match.
"We're hoping that a lot of local GAA clubs and the rugby club in Armagh will get behind us in our fundraising venture," continued Sam.
"We will be putting sponsorship forms in local clubs and leisure centres and hopefully the response will be good. We would really like to raise more than the £8,000 from last year."
The effort of the Nicholson's have been welcomed by John McCall's father, Ian.
"It is very commendable what Matthew and his family are doing," said Mr McCall.
"They are doing this all off their own back and it is the second year they have ran for CRY. Our whole family really appreciates what they are doing."
Sibling rivalry will obviously be at stake in the Great North Run. Matthew was streets ahead of the rest of his family last year but training has been more disciplined in the build-up to this year's event!
Sam, Matthew and Mark also plan to run in the Dublin Marathon on October 29.
Every week eight apparently fit and healthy young people die in the UK from undiagnosed heart conditions. CRY works to raise awareness of Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) and campaigns for proactive screening of young people. It offers help and support to those who have suffered a loss, provides medical information, carries out Mobile Cardiac Screening and ECG Testing Programmes within local communities and contributes to medical research.
Any money the Nicholson brothers raise will go to local screening sessions.
For more information about the charity run or to sponsor the Nicholson brothers http://www.justgiving.com/cry2007
Father calls for compulsory screening
The father of John McCall, the Royal School rugby team's Schools' Cup-winning captain who died as a result of a heart defect in 2004, has once again called for more screening of young people.
Ian McCalll spoke to the Gazette following the recent deaths of two young children in Tyrone and insisted all children of secondary-school age should be screened for any potential heart defects.
It was in March 2004 that 18-year-old John collapsed during Ireland's opening U19 Rugby World Cup fixture against New Zealand at Durban. Just a week earlier John led the Royal School Armagh to Schools' Cup victory at Ravenhill.
But since John's death the McCall family have been firm supporters of CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young).
In fact the McCalls are the County Armagh representatives for the charity and they are behind any new move by Government to introduce compulsory screening.
"We would advise parents of any child of secondary school age to have them screened," said Ian.
"I can't say that enough. It's not difficult, it only takes about 20 or 25 minutes and only costs £35.
"We only hear of the John McCalls and the Cormac McAnallens because they are high profile people.
"Since then there have been a number of families in the Armagh area and further a field who have experienced sudden cardiac death.
"In Italy it is compulsory to have children screened when they reach a certain age and that has been happening there for 25 years.
"So it can happen in Italy, there's no reason why it can't happen in Northern Ireland."
Already in the province several aspiring young sports starts have been forced into retirement because of defects discovered in scans.
"There are so many types of defects. The type that caused John's death was a viral form of cardiomyopathy, so a scan wouldn't have picked that up unless it was done at the time of infection," continued Ian.
"I cannot stress just how important screening is.
"Rugby has started to screen all players who play at representative level and the GAA does the same with their players.
"However, regardless if a child is involved in sport or not, they should still be screened," insisted Ian.
Since the death of their son the McCall family have all been screened and have been involved in developing a new specialist screening unit at the University of Ulster.
"We don't hear about all of the deaths. John's death and Cormac's death has kicked off a lot more interest and helped get this going with the University of Ulster.
"Since the clinic was launched in November last year it has been very busy, sometimes even over-subscribed.
"But it is well worth going through the process.
"We've got to use John's death so other families do not suffer the same fate. Parents must listen and they must take action."
For an appointment, contact the CRY Northern Ireland Screening Administrator on 01737 363 222, or email
"For further news on the work of CRY - and information on cardiac conditions and sudden cardiac death - check out the website at http://www.c-r-y.org.uk
"Mission: Implausible" – charity motorcycle challenge in memory of Anthony Child
Chris is undertaking this challenge in memory of his good friend Anthony Child - known to his friends and relatives alike as 'Budgie' - who died in November 2004, aged 33.
For more information about this event - including route information, thoughts on the bike (left) and much more - please visit www.mission-implausible.org.uk/
You can sponsor Chris on his epic journey, by going to:
Running for a reason Great North Run Members Update – August 2007
On 20th September 2006, my 23-year-old brother Kevin (my only sibling) died of an Arrhythmia. His death was a complete shock, as he was not ill and had no symptoms of any heart problems (this is common with Sudden Arrhythmic Death).
Devastated and unaware of what an Arrhythmia, CRY helped me and my parents to get screening done at the London Heart Hospital (I have been given the all clear, but my parents still need further testing); and invited us to a family bereavement day, where we could meet other families who have lost loved ones in the same tragic and incomprehensible way!
The BUPA Great North Run will be the first time I have competed in a half marathon (I have only ran 10k races before), so the race will be very challenging for me! My brother Kevin was very athletic and had ran the Liverpool Marathon in 20-05 and it is for this reason that I want to complete a half marathon myself in his honour.
I know Kevin will be very proud of me taking on such a challenge just 10 days after the first anniversary of his death! And for raising money for CRY, so that they can continue their work and try to prevent Sudden Arrhythmic Deaths from occurring as often as they do!
By Michele Wilson
Mum joins big walk in quest to save lives
When Jon Paul Hawkins collapsed during a Scout meeting, doctors said that apart from a dislocated shoulder the lad was fine.
Just two months later this kind, popular, 18-year-old was dead.
Jon Paul collapsed against while playing computer games with younger brother Sam, and this time doctors could not revive him.
More than 130 people turned out for Jon Paul's funeral in 2001, where he was remembered for his enthusiasm, sense of adventure and love of the outdoors.
The Hindley teenager had been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as a baby - a thickening of the heart muscle - but this was not expected to have a significant effect on his later life.
But brother Sam and mum Evonne were dealt another shock when a scan found the younger boy had the same potentially-fatal heart defect.
Now 21, Sam has been fitted with a pacemaker and Evonne, of Brecon Drive, HIndley Green, is trying to raise awareness of the sorrow caused by sudden cardiac death.
She is doing a sponsored walk in London for the charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young), which helps to fund more ECG tests for young people to encourage earlier diagnoses.
Evonne said: "Jon Paul was just buying some sugar to go with his pancakes, and everyone thought he must have slipped or something.
"Doctors couldn't explain why it happened.
"In May that year, though, he collapsed while playing on the computer with Sam. He died, it was so sudden.
"I know that because I'm his mum you expect to hear this, but he really was so kind and popular.
"He was working at the Grosvenor House care home, and was always full of smiles."
Despite having had a pacemaker or ICD fitted, Sam says he is still suffering from his condition.
He has always wanted to work with children but has been unable to get a job, as employers are scared of how much time he might need off for hospital visits.
He said: "At the moment I am volunteering at SureStart in Hindley, just to build up a bit of experience, but I've found it really hard to find something permanent.
"I need to go to hospital just once a month for a check-up, and though I cannot lift heavy things, I love the job and have a lot to offer."
Evonne said she wanted to get involved with the charity CRY when she heard the shocking statistic that eight young people in the UK are taken from their families every WEEK after sudden cardiac arrest.
She will join more than 300 CRY supporters in the capital on Sunday, July 15, on a walk across eight bridges from Westminster to Tower Bridge, around eight kilometres.
They hope to raise £30,000 to pay for ECG scans on 300 young people. Evonne said: "The scans cost £100 each, but could help prevent a sudden death.
"It would be good to see an ECG as standard for all schoolchildren. It could be taken when they have all their innoculations.
"My target is to raise £200. If I can pay for two of these tests it might help stop what happened to Jon Paul happening to other families."
To sponsor Evonne go to
We will never forget our little sunshine girl
Little Kallista Heavey was just eight months old when she died suddenly in Paris of what was initially thought to be an allergic reaction.
In the space of just a day, the bubbly baby turned into a very sick child because of what was later found to be heart disease.
Now her family are campaigning to raise awareness of her tragic illness.
The family had gone to Disneyland Paris in September as a birthday treat for Kallista's mum Debby, a former Limbrick Wood Primary School teacher, who turned 40 the day her baby died.
Kallista's dad, Tome Heavey, aged 42, police inquiries officer, said her illness cam out of the blue.
The former Bishop Ullathorne School pupil said: "There were no signs and the first we knew she was sick, and then the following morning her breathing became laboured.
"We called a doctor out and he suggested we get an ambulance to take her to hospital.
"Even when she was there the doctors thought it was an allergic reaction and she would be fine.
"Later on we went back to see she was sitting up and looked fine again. It was later on that evening that she took a turn for the worst."
She was in hospital just 15 hours before she died. A post mortem examination revealed she had contracted the heart disease Myocarditis.
It is relatively common but in some cases can be so severed it leads to the impairment of the heart's pumping function, killing eight children and young people every week.
Now living in Stoke-on-Trent, the family are keen to raise awareness of the illness which robbed them of their precious girl.
Despite her short life, Tome said he is never short of memories of the baby girl he calls 'the little sunshine girl'. He said: "I think about her every day."
Debby, now an assistant head teacher said: "We always say a baby is beautiful but there was something about her. She wanted to take everything in.
"Because she died on my birthday, celebrations have gone out of the window now. How can you open cards and sing happy birthday?"
"They say life begins at 40 and in my case it has, just in a different way, because I don't get as het up about things, or have to have the latest gadgets. Family was always important to me but now I value the time that we have even more."
Kallista's grandmother Nora Heavey, aged 75, of Winslow Close, Allesley Park, described her devastation when she heard the news of her 10th grandchild's death.
She said: "I collapsed when I found out. I remembered when I first held her two days after she was born and there was an instance connection. I cannot explain it to anybody but the bond was so great. I couldn't stop crying for three months."
She also told how it had brought back memories of her own loss - the death of a daughter who died aged just two.
The charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) is raising funds to help screen heart-related conditions in babies and youths.
Eight members of Kallista's family, including sister Athena, aged and brother, Xander, aged four, will take part in the charity's eight bridges walk in London on Sunday, July 15 and hope to raise £500 for the cause.
If you would like to make a donation, log on to
Stepping out for Kallista
Thomas and Debbie Heavey's family holiday to Paris turned to tragedy when their eight-month-old daughter Kallista was suddenly struck down by a heart condition.
But just nine months after losing their beloved daughter, the couple are preparing for a charity walk and hope the money they raise will help prevent another family from going through the same nightmare.
They will be taking part in a sponsored walk over eight bridges in central London, organised by the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).
The charity says that every week in Britain, eight apparently healthy youngsters like Kallista die from undiagnosed heart conditions.
The statistic will be symbolised by the eight bridges and eight kilometres the walkers have to cover during the event on July 15.
Like many parents of children affected by heart conditions, Thomas and Debbie were unaware there was anything wrong with their daughter before that day in September.
But hours after the first symptoms became apparent, the heart disease myocarditis had claimed Kallista's life. Thomas, aged 42, of Wynbank Close, Miles Green, said: "It was totally unexpected. Her breathing just became a lot shallower. We had the doctor out, and took her to hospital. We thought it was an allergy.
"She seemed to be getting better but on the second day she suffered heart failure.
"I'm still not entirely sure what it is - it's some sort of bug that attaches itself to the back of a virus and attacks the heart.
"It was such a massive infection there was nothing they could do at the hospital."
Thomas and Debbie will be joined on the walk by their other children, Athena, aged eight, and four-year-old Xander.
"Team Heavey", as they call themselves, will also consist of various other members of their extended family and friends, and they are aiming to raise hundreds of pounds for CRY.
Thomas added: "Originally it was only going to be my wife, our two other kids and myself doing the walk, but there's been so much interest.
"The money that's raised will help buy equipment and fund research into screening, so doctors are better able to identify children who are most at risk. If they can treat heart conditions early, it can make a big difference.
"That's why we're doing it, why we want to raise as much money for CRY as we can. If we can prevent another family going through what we've been through, then that would be fantastic."
Wolstanton teenager Nathan Butler died suddenly from a rare heart condition last February at the age of 16, and since then his family have helped raise more than £7,000 for CRY.
Nathan's mum Angela said: "CRY has just spent £200,000 on research into conditions like Nathan's, and the money we raised has helped to pay for that.
"It is a fantastic organisation. It's not only the screening work they do, but also the bereavement support they offer to families. We've had a lot of help from them."
The Heavey family have set up a website to make it easier for people to sponsor them. To support Team Heavey, follow the link at
Leave your tributes to Kallisata at
Cars star in charity trip
A car club in Crewe is set for a Mini adventure as it prepares for a charity drive. Crewe's Missiles, a club which shares an appreciation for Minis, has organised the trip in support of CRY, a charity that raises awareness of cardiac risk in the young. Crewe's Missiles member Joanne Woolrich, of Frank Webb Avenue, said: "The club has been established for eight months now. Usually we do these runs just for fun, but this is the first time we have all really got together to support a charity. "I suggested CRY as I'm a close friend of Karen Reece who lost her son Daniel Boughey to SADS - Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome. The charity has helped her and now we want to support them. We hope she will see us set off. "On this occasion it is only members from our club who are invited to join in. Already we have had a fantastic response, with 25 Minis definitely signed up. The minis will set off on Sunday, March 25 from Marshfield Bank Community Centre. The route has yet to be finalised, but Barmouth will be the first destination via Bala, with another three stops for re-grouping. Each driver involved will e asked to donate a minimum £5, and will receive a plaque to place on the front of their car stating the purpose of the run. Joanne added: "We hope to organise more charity runs in the future. We are dedicated to supporting CRY for the next 12 months and even hope to set up a CRY stall at any car shows we attend. "We would like to thank Mini Mine and Smithsons Motors Factory in Stoke for their support and Arthur Gerrard who has made a donation towards the cost of the run. "Together they have made up plaques, so now any contribution will go directly6 the charities. Finally, I would like to thank all the club members who have helped to organise this charity run.
Club's fundraiser for cardiac group
Unexplained sudden death in the young is frequently recorded as sue to natural causes but experts now believe that many of these deaths can be attributed to Sudden Death Syndrome from inherited forms of heart muscle disorders and irregular heart beats.
It is often difficult to consider that someone who is apparently young and fit may be at risk but the tragic deaths of such sports stars as Cormac McAnallen (Tyrone GAA) and John McCall (Irish U19 rugby) shocked everyone. Sporting youngsters stress their hearts the most, but if they have an underlying cardiac abnormality they are more likely to be at risk. Sport in itself does not lead to cardiac arrest but it can act as a trigger for a young person to die suddenly by exacerbating the undetected condition.
Cardiac screening can eliminate many of these deaths and to this aim Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) has set up a special clinic in Northern Ireland where they will screen any young and physically active individual between the ages of 14 - 35 with a couple of very simple tests which can diagnose most underlying cardiac pathologies.
CRY suggest screening is requested via a GP if there has been any young sudden deaths in the family or if the young person is suffering from exercise related chest pain, breathlessness, palpitations, dizziness or fainting. The tests are painless and non-intrusive and cost about £35.
Tickets for gig tribute go well
Music fans are set to travel from far and wide to attend a concert in Malvern being staged by a Worcestershire band in tribute to a great friend of theirs who died after a cardiac malfunction.
Fifty-eight-year-old Keith Jones of the band Rare Breed said they had sold nearly 200 tickets in less than a month for the event in memory of 38-year-old singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Adrian Coffey, who lived in Malvern Link.
Mr Coffey was at a friend's home in August when he felt a pain in his chest and was taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital, where he died. We reported earlier this month how Rare Breed are now putting on a concert in memory of him at Malvern Youth Centre in Albert Road North on Saturday, December 2.
Mr Jones, who lives near Malvern, said the band were overwhelmed with the response, and knew of people who known Adrian through his work as a scientist with Malvern-based science and technology organisation QinetiQ who were travelling from as far as Plymouth, Kent, Yorkshire and Oxfordshire for the concert.
He said: "I think the great response has just been because of how Adrian was and that he was such a good guy.
"We're doing gigs all the time but this one will be a bit special because of that link and we're really looking forward to it - the vibes are definitely right for it."
Mr Jones formed Rare Breed last year with Tony May of Cotheridge. He met Mr Coffey at a folk club and played with him for 13 years, appearing alongside him in the group the Road North with renowned folk musician Vikki Clayton.
Rare Breed's Malvern concert is being held in aid of the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young. They hope to raise more than £2,500.
A limited number of tickets, priced £10, are available by calling Keith Jones on 01886 821 931 or 07974 703 581 or from Aquarius in Malvern town centre.
Cry for all our kids
The family of Armagh school-boy John McCall - who died a result of a heart defect while playing rugby in 2004 - are advising all parents to have their children screened.
Ian McCall this week told the Gazette that a new clinic - must launched at the University of Ulster in Jordanstown - could prevent other families from having to suffer in the same way they have.
Disbelief followed the death of 18-year-old John, who collapsed during Ireland's opening World Cup fixture against New Zealand at Durban in March 2004. It was just over a week earlier that John led the Royal School Armagh to Schools' Cup victory.
The happiness of Ian and Carolyn McCall in seeing their son write a new page in the royal's rugby history books turned to heartache in South Africa. The community was stunned, a family was devastated.
But the McCalls decided that John's death to cardiomyopathy - a disease of the heart muscle which very often affects young people - should help others.
Joining with those who have similarly suffered, this saw the information of a local CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) group and, last Wednesday, Northern Ireland's first independently-funded heart screening clinic was launched.
"What we are about is raising awareness of sudden cardiac death and trying to raise funds for the use of raising awareness," explained Mr McCall.
"We would try and help and support people who have been through a similar situation to ourselves.
"Our mission statement is 'through information and communication to raise and increase knowledge about life-threatening cardiac conditions that affect young people. Our aim is to make screening accessible to young people across Northern Ireland."
"That's what we are about as a group. CRY was set up some time ago across the water, but having a Northern Ireland group now means that any funds raised in Northern Ireland will be used in Northern Ireland".
CRY has now established the clinic at Jordanstown; while the group has provided the equipment, the University of Ulster provides the facilities and staff. It will operate once a m month - possibly extended, as and when the need arises.
And it could offer a lifeline to many young people who do not yet k now they have a heart complaint. Treatment is possible if complaints are diagnosed.
Said Mr McCall: "The results of the screening are e-mailed to London, where CRY have a resident Cardiologist, Dr Sanjay Sharma, who will read them and advise on a course of action if need be. This is up and running now. If you went to get screened today, you would find it difficult on the National Health, where you would just join the waiting list.
"If you were to go private, if could cost you up to £350. Sometimes that can be off-putting, and you will have to wait your turn. We can offer subsidised screening for £35 per person.
"According to Dr Sharma, there are over 2,000 - and probably more - young people walking around with a possible heart complaint. the sad thing is that the heart, because it is a major organ, if there is a problem it can result in fatalities. So you don't have room to wait".
Indeed, waiting is simply not an option, according to Mr McCall, who feels that all young people in the 12 to 20 age bracket - regardless of fitness and lifestyle - should be tested.
Shortly after John died, the coach of the Portora Royal School rugby team decided to have his young players screened before embarking on a tour of Australia. One of the schoolboys was diagnosed with a heart complaint and, while he still attended the turn, was told not to play any sport.
Mr McCall went on: "He went back to school in September and, one Saturday, when just knocking about a tennis racket, he dropped dead. Unfortunately it was too late. The health system let him down.
""With the likes of cancer and leukaemia, there are so many different problems to look at. I fully understand that, in the grand scheme of things, sudden cardiac death is down the line a bit. but that needs to change.
"We know as a family what it can mean to lose someone this way. It's almost like a thief has come into your house and stolen your son or daughter.
"We hope that, through this joint venture with the University of Ulster, we can stop this happening and raise awareness.
"We only hear of the John McCalls and the Cormac McAnallens because they are high profile people. Since then there have been a number of families in the Armagh area who have experience sudden cardiac death.
"It's the high profile cases like John an Cormac that bring it to people's minds. this initiative has come too late for the families in CRY. Before John died we as a family knew nothing about sudden cardiac death, but we now know that we can help stop other families suffering.
"The burden of grief never leaves. It's two-and-a-half years since John died. But you never come to terms with the death of a young person. It's against the grain. Having this knowledge and being involved with this group and getting the clinic up and running in some way softens the grief. I would love to be able to say it takes away the grief, but it doesn't. It softens it".
There's an urgent message in his words that is echoed by each and every member of CRY who, through their own personal losses, want others to take not.
"We would advise parents of anyone of secondary school age to get their children screened," Mr McCall added.
"I can't say that enough. It's not difficult, it only takes about 20 or 25 minutes.
"Young people who are doing sport are doing quite a bit of sport. They have a bigger sporting agenda than I did when I was at school 30 years ago. If there is a problem with someone's heart then the pressure of the extra sport can bring that to the fore, and in the majority of times that can lead to sudden cardiac death".
Of course, screening is something which CRY believes should be done as a matter of course, with much greater emphasis being put on getting the message across.
Mr McCall explained: "Italy is the only European country which screens all children as a matter of policy and they have the lowest incidence of sudden cardiac death. CRY as an organisation believes the statistics are a lot higher than the Government would say.
"We have been trying to get them to introduce screening in all secondary schools. We don't heart all of the deaths. John's death and Cormac's death has kicked off a lot of interest in Northern Ireland and helped get this deal going with the University of Ulster.
"We want to put it out there to the people of Northern Ireland, whether in Castlederg or Warrenpoint, Ballymena or Fermanagh. If someone hears of someone coming home from schools saying 'I'm having dizzy spells' or 'I'm feeling faint', it sets alarm bells ringing. We need to get them screened.
"We beat ourselves up as parents because we thought we should have seen something wrong with John.
"The match in which John died wasn't that intense. The game was start and stop. John died about 22 minutes into the game. About 10 days before he had been playing for the Royal School when they won the Schools' Cup. We thank God he didn't drop dead that day. We thank God it was during the international match. That in itself has helped raise awareness. If he had dropped dead in the garden it would not have had the same impact.
"We've got to use his death so that we can avert other families from the same fate. Parents must listen and they must take action".
The first ECG clinic will be held at the University of Ulster at Jordanstown on Saturday November 25. For an appointment, contact the CRY Northern Ireland Screening Administrator on 01737 363 222, or email email@example.com For futher news on the work of CRY - and information on cardiac conditions and sudden cardiac death - check out the website at http://www.c-r-y.org.uk/NI
Dancers launch new charity calendar
Yetminster's Dollywood Dancers celebrated their sixth birthday with afternoon tea and a birthday cake at the town's Crafty Times tea room and also took the opportunity to launch their 2007 charity calendar.
Last year's calendar raised a substantial sum for St Margaret's Hospice and this year founder Val Cookson decided its theme would be even more elaborate with the beneficiaries being Cardiac Rehab at Yeovil Hospital and CRY Cardiac Risk in the Young.
The Dollywoods were joined by all those who had contributed towards their all-day calendar shoot at Chetnole Mill where they were loaned four period cars for the 1920s setting. The day began with a spring wedding followed by a summer picnic, autumn race meeting and winter outing.
The calendar will be available in either full colour or sepia to give it a period feel, from many local outlets.
Charity to benefit from family run
An Armagh family are gearing up to take part in the Bupa Great North Run next month, all in the name of charity.
The six brothers and one sister will run the half marathon in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne on Sunday October 1 and all money raised will go to charity CRY - Cardiac Risk in the Young.
The Nicholson family are no strangers to the athletic scene as brothers Matthew, Mark and Paul ran the Addidas Silverstone Half Marathon in March in memory of royal School student John McCall, who died from a rare heart condition two years ago.
The family are raising sponsorship and awareness of CRY and all money raised will go to a fund wishing to set up a permanent screening facility so that sporting clubs can being their young athletes to have them screened for heart abnormalities and defects.
Every week eight seemingly fit and healthy people die in the UK from an undiagnosed heart condition and CRY works to raise awareness of Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS).
Matthew, his brother Same and the rest of the family will travel over to Newcastle on Saturday, September 30, and they are all looking forward to the challenge.
"This is the first marathon I will have run," said Sam Nicholson.
"But I am really looking forward to taking part and I hope that people will pledge money to this important charity."
People can make donations and sponsor the group by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/cashforcry and make the family's hard-work worthwhile. Using this website will also allow the charity to gain an extra 28 per cent back on all donations.
All donations are very welcome towards Matthew's other marathons which he is set to run in throughout October, including the Nike 10k in London on October 8, the Great South Run in Portsmouth on October 22, and the Dublin Marathon on October 31. He aims to continue to raise awareness and sponsorship for CRY.
Daywalker prepares to rock the crowds
Wirral band Daywalker will be giggling with the X Factor's Tabby this weekend.
But although the boys will be rocking the Buzz FM stage with the Sharon Osbourne protégée at the Wirral Show this weekend, entering the talent show isn't something the boys are planning any time soon.
Dave Robinson, lead vocals in the band, said: "Daywalker have nothing against the X-Factor or its contestants, but I don't think you would see us on it at this time as we are trying to make our mark in the industry through extensive gigging, promoting and getting our music out there.
"You will hopefully see us on TV at some point soon, but we would like it to be on the likes of Jools Holland."
Daywalker formed in late 2004 and consists of three ex-members of a heavy rock band and an acoustic song writing duo.
The band features Dave Robinson on vocals, Gary Turnock on guitars/backing vocals, Barry Waring on guitars/keyboards/backing vocals, Dave Kinder on bass guitar and Mark Evans on drums/percussion.
the band, who will also be playing at the Iron Door this coming Friday (August 4) are also currently embarking on a charity drive with their music.
Daywalker have been playing a string of gigs to support the Clatterbridge Cancer Campaign and the Linda McCartney Centre.
They will also be releasing a charity single to raise funds for the CRY appeal (Cardiac Risk in the Young), following the death of a close friend of guitarist Barry Waring.
Bereaved mum helps others cope with grief
The mother of Northamptonshire student Laura Hillier, who died suddenly three years ago from a rare heart illness, is coming to terms with her grief by supporting other bereaved families.
The 21-year-old trainee teacher collapsed without warning in her father's GP practice in Blisworth on June 20, 2003.
Dr Tony Hillier, his wife Joan and their son Mathew, were devastated by her death which came as a bolt from the blue.
Mrs Hillier said she was only able to start putting her life back together after receiving help from the organisation Cardiac Risk in the Young, known as CRY.
She added: "At first I couldn't do anything. the family was devastated and the whole of Blisworth was. It affected the whole community for a long time."
But now she has trained as a family bereavement supporter and is helping others going through similar experiences.
"Unless you had a child that died it is so difficult for anyone to understand how different it is from any other death. It helps to have someone saying it is quite alright to think you are going mad, because you do.
"The organisation matches people with someone who has a similar story to tell. Helping other people has helped me with my own bereavement."
CRY, which receives no external funding, is also trying fund research into the sudden deaths of young people from unknown heart conditions.
Some studies have indicated that sudden cardiac death is genetic and can be passed from a parent to a child.
Although it has no symptoms it can be detected through screening if it is known to be in the family and people can be fitted with a pacemaker to prolong their life.
Mrs Hillier said: "Research is so important. There is an awful lot of money being put into the health service at the end stage of heart conditions but no one is looking at what happens to the young and the devastation it causes."