Some of Team Tom at the start of the walk.
Thank you! More than 50 people turned-out for Team Tom to mark the 10th time we have taken part in CRY’s Heart of London Bridges Walk.
This year’s walk always felt particularly significant. A decade is a long time and with the event coming before the anniversary of Tom’s death, it was redolent with memories. To see so many people make extraordinary efforts to attend, therefore, was inspiring.
CRY’s estimate at time of writing is that we were among 1,400 people who took part. Looking around Potters Fields, it was wonderful to see how many were waiting to walk.
Wonderful but troubling. A story in the papers earlier this year told of a parent who discovered their 14-year-old son dead in bed. They had never heard of CRY, never heard of cardiac screening. All the things we were saying 10 years ago.
It raises the question – has there been progress? Is it worth giving up a Sunday to slog around 10k in the heat?
We’d say ‘Yes’.
Plainly cardiac screening is still not available as of right to young people. However, CRY are screening more people than ever before, more than 23,000 last year, and their research programme is a leader in its field. The scientific case for screening appears to be gaining ground.
The walk remains a key part in CRY’s armoury, its largest public event. It is not simply the sight of people walking or the funds raised. It also raises awareness up and down the country as local media tells the stories of those taking part.
It is one battle in a long and gruelling war. Ultimately, the injustice that is 12 young people dying each week because of undiagnosed heart conditions will end. The evidence will become too strong to be ignored.
And when it does, everyone who has ever walked will have played a part:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead.
Thank you for walking. It means more to us than words can say.