BEREAVED parents from Leamington joined a charity walking event in memory of their son who died suddenly from cardiac arrest aged 23.
Last month saw the return of charity supporters who, like Carolyn and Stan Harris, had been affected by a young cardiac death in their family, taking to the streets of Durham for the 12th annual CRY Heart of Durham Walk.
The event to date has raised more than £80,000 for Cardiac Risk in the Young since its launch.
Stan and Carolyn Harris first became involved with CRY following the tragic death of their son Matthew who passed away in 2010 while participating in a charity run. This is the first time that Stan and Carolyn have taken part in the Durham Walk, having previously done the annual CRY Bridges Walk in London, to raise funds and awareness for the charity.
Stan and Carolyn said: “We just want to raise awareness of CRY. It is particularly important for children and young people taking part in sports. We were put in touch with CRY after Matthew died and they were a huge help.
Every week in the UK, at least 12 young people – aged 35 and under – die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. In 80 per cent of these cases, there will have been no warning signs or symptoms, which is why CRY believes screening is so important.
CRY’s pioneering screening programme now tests over 30,000 young people aged 14 to 35 every year.
Charity chief executive Dr Steven Cox added: “It really was wonderful to be back in Durham as our programme of events starts to resume following such a difficult and challenging 18 months for CRY – and charities all over.
“CRY has a long and positive heritage with the people of Durham and the North East and it therefore felt ‘right’ to have returned in Autumn 2021, holding this safe, and well-established outdoor event that brought bereaved families together – many of whom may not have met up since we were last here in October 2019.
“On behalf of everyone at CRY, I would like to thank Stan and Carolyn for taking part in this year’s event and playing such a key role in helping to heighten awareness of the work we are doing to prevent the tragedy of sudden cardiac deaths in young people. By coming together at events such as this, we can make an important difference.”