This year will mark the 10th anniversary of Tom’s death. It’s a decade in which so many have campaigned and fund-raised in his memory for Cardiac Risk in the Young.
So this, of course, is to ask you not to stop. Why? Because by the time October’s anniversary comes around, we will have lost 6,000 or more young people aged between 14-35 since that day in 2007. How many could have been saved by a national heart screening programme? The vast majority.
Yet nothing looks likely to change in the short-term. The UK National Screening Committee, which advises the Government, isn’t due until 2018/2019 to review its advice – which is currently not to recommend a screening programme. That means you can add another 600-1200 young deaths to the total before there’s even a chance that things might change.
It’s a frustrating situation. We know that CRY’s research is rooted in the more than 100,000 screenings it has carried out. We know that its screening programme is led by an internationally acknowledged expert, in Professor Sanjay Sharma. We know from the evidence of Tom and Claire’s Fund screenings that cardiac testing can help to identify those who need further medical intervention (evidence which is also reflected at countless CRY family screenings throughout the UK and at CRY’s national screening centre).
None of that seems to be enough.
We, therefore, begin a new year with an old plea: there are loads of good causes out there but please consider supporting Tom and Claire’s Fund and CRY. We’re holding two more screening days in Ealing in Spring and Autumn, 2017, and it’s only through your commitment that such events can take place.
Wishing everyone a peaceful and healthy new year.
Paul and Ellen x