The family of a Derry man who passed away just days after contracting Sepsis in 2014 are appealing for greater awareness around the illness.
International cricket umpire Eric Cooke was well known in circles right across the North West. He’ll be remembered this weekend at an event in the Gransha club where a raffle will raise money for Sepsis Awareness. Some of the proceeds from the event will also be donated to North West Cricket Youth Development.
A number of businesses from right across the North West have donated to the prize fund including many local restaurants and hotels. However it’s donations by some of the UK’s biggest sports stars which are expected to generate the most interest on the night when they are auctioned off.
Cricketer Boyd Rankin, Manchester City star Leroy Sane and Ireland’s Rugby Captain Rory Best have all made donations.
The event is being organised by Eric’s daughters Wendy Penny and Tracey Cooke and supported by Eric’s wife Valerie Cooke.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with the generosity of everyone who donated prizes,” said Wendy. “The kindness of the local businesses has been phenomonal. Our dad was really well known in cricketing circles but also because of his job in Bridge Transport, so a lot of people would have known him from his work too.”
For the Cooke family, getting more information out there about Sepsis, is vital.
“We feel it’s so important to do everything we can to support Sepsis Awareness,” said Wendy.
“If we’d known back then what we know now, the outcome could have been very different for our dad.
“We want to get the message out there that Sepsis can affect anyone and that it’s so important to ask questions about it. I wish we’d known to do that at the time.”
Saturday’s event will take place in the Gransha Social Club, from 7.30pm.