St. Joseph’s run for life-saving screening

The Parents Teachers Association of St. Joseph’s Boys’ School in Creggan will unite with the charity CRY and run two teams in next month’s Belfast Marathon in a bid to raise money for cardiac screening of young people.

CRY was founded in 1995 to raise awareness of conditions that can lead to Young Sudden Cardiac Death (YSCD) and Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS).

One family from the North West know only too well how these hidden conditions can devastate an entire family. John Lundy from Coleraine lost his teenage son Aaron to a condition called Wolfe Parkinson White Syndrome in 1999. Aaron had left home one morning to play football - and never came home.

“There are no words to describe the shock and sorrow this had on myself, my wife Ann and our family,” Mr Lundy, now the Northern Ireland Represention of CRY UK, said. “My aim is to raise awareness of cardiac risk in the young.”

Preventable heart conditions kill between four and eight ‘fit and healthy’ young people every week.

Now, St. Joseph’s Boys’ School are hoping to raise enough money to have students screened for cardiac abnormalities and help raise awareness of health and taking better care of their heart.

John McLaughlin of St Joseph’s PTA told the ‘Journal’: “St Joseph’s PTA are seeking local support in getting as many pupils screened as possible to prevent untimely death due to undetected heart problems.

“The cost to screen one pupil is £35. St Joseph’s PTA are now in negotiation with CRY to bring their screening team to Saint Joseph’s and to raise the much needed finance, two teams made up of teachers, pupils and past pupils will race each other over the Belfast Marathon Course on Monday, May 5.”

Sponsorship forms are now being distributed through the school and local people are urged to give generously to make this vital service a reality.