Left to right: CRY founder Alison Cox, research fellow Dr Keteepe-Arachi and patron Ben Brown.
This morning I went to see your latest fund-raising efforts turn into potentially life-saving work at the CRY Centre For Inherited Cardiovascular Conditions and Sports Cardiology, St George’s Hospital, Tooting.
All the running, climbing, book-selling, cake baking and myriad other activities you’ve taken part in since our fund started in 2008 has now raised more than £150,000 for CRY.
So it was great to
- See the first of six days of subsidised screenings get underway. The fund is supporting the screenings between January and March at a cost of £18,000. Young people aged 14-35 attend from all over the UK and around 110 screenings are booked per session.
- Have a look at the brand new echocardiogram machine sporting Tom and Claire’s names that was bought at a cost of £27,000.
- Meet Dr Tracey Keteepe-Arachi, the CRY research fellow who was leading the day’s screening programme. Our fund has donated £10,000 towards research.
It was particularly fitting that the BBC’s Ben Brown, family friend and CRY patron, was able to attend the launch because he represents each and every one of you who has ever supported CRY. Not only has Ben done whatever he can to raise awareness, he has also fund-raised by putting in the hard miles running half and full marathons.
It was also, of course, a pleasure to have a chat once again with Alison Cox. CRY’s founder may have stepped down as Chief Executive but she is still getting up at the crack on a Saturday morning to support events such as these.
Last year alone, CRY screened 23,000 young people. It shows a need, it shows the demand, but there’s a long way to go before there’s a national screening programme to replace the efforts of CRY. Since starting in 1995, the charity has screened more than 80,000 young people.
Part of that total is down to you. On the way home I heard Patti Smith on Radio 4’s Saturday Live. She talked about writing the song ‘People Have The Power’, which includes the line ‘We can turn the world around.’ Because of your efforts to turn at least one part of the world around, Tom and Claire’s Fund has sponsored more than 1,200 of those screenings.
That’s 1,200 who have been given a chance Tom did not have.
For today at least, then, it seems right to reflect with great pride on the efforts of a remarkable group of CRY supporters, a group that has raised £150,000 in Tom and Claire’s names.
The echo bought with your fund-raising efforts.