Families from across the West of England joined together to help launch a major regional campaign to highlight the shocking statistic that 12 young, apparently fit and healthy young people (aged 35 and under) are tragically dying every week in the UK from previously undiagnosed heart conditions.
A poster-sized version of an emotive new postcard – featuring the photos of 12 young people from across the region who lost their lives to sudden cardiac death – was unveiled by CRY at an event held at The Holiday Inn in Gloucester on Thursday May 9th 2013.
More than 150,000 postcards have been distributed by CRY families across the UK in a bid to raise awareness and lobby support amongst MPs.
Chief Executive and Founder of the charity, Alison Cox MBE, said; “Our powerful postcard campaign is continuing to help us emphasise the importance of screening and the fact that so many of these tragic cases affecting fit and healthy young people could have been prevented. 80% of these deaths will occur with no prior symptoms – which is why CRY believes that screening is so vitally important.”
CRY’s screening programme now tests around 12,000 young people across the UK every year and one in every 300 of the young people that CRY tests will be identified with a potentially life threatening condition.
This month, hundreds of postcards will be distributed by CRY families and supporters to people across the West (from Worcester to Wimborne, Chippenham to Cheltenham) urging them to send it back to their local MP. It is hoped the influx of postcards will encourage MPs to add their support to the campaign and join the Cardiac Risk in the Young All Party Parliamentary Group.
Alison adds; “These 12 faces are just a ‘snap-shot’ of the problem and we need to keep up the pressure and engage support from as many MPs as possible to ensure we are doing everything we can to prevent other families from experiencing similar tragedies.
“We already have huge support from MPs – many of whom have been deeply moved by a death of a young person in their constituency and have pledged to support us in our ongoing work and awareness raising activity. However, we are confident that this latest campaign will help us to target those MPs who are not yet aware of our commitment to prevent further needless deaths as well as spreading our important educational messages to parents and young people living across this region. I’m extremely grateful to all of the families for once again agreeing to lend their support to this latest campaign.”