Cycling couple kick off tremendous tour of all Premiership Football clubs

Post lady Donna Stone and husband Steve (from the village of Weston) are undertaking a major sponsored cycle challenge in support of two inspiring charities; Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) & The Heart of Weston.

The route – starting on 10th March – will cover over 1000 miles and see the pair visit all of the UK’s Premier League football stadiums in 9 days. From Sunderland Swansea, Burnley to Bournemouth, the dynamic duo has one goal in mind: to raise awareness and funds.

The Heart of Weston was established by Jane and Paul Phillips, also from Weston, in memory of their sons Christopher and Steven Phillips who both tragically died from cardiac arrest aged 28 and 29 (attributed to Young Sudden Cardiac Death – YSCD). The brothers died within five years of one another, in 2009 and 2014, devastating their family, friends and local community.

The Heart of Weston funds a number of activities to help prevent these unnecessary tragedies by offering heart screening days in association with CRY, regular sessions learning on how to use a defibrillator and first aid training for all ages.

Every week in the UK, around 12 young people (that is aged 35 and under) die suddenly from a previously diagnosed heart condition. 80% of these deaths will occur with no prior symptoms – which is why CRY is so committed to the importance of specialist, cardiac screening. CRY also funds pioneering research into the conditions that can cause young sudden cardiac death as well as providing a unique bereavement support network for all families who have been affected.

CRY’s screening programme now tests around 23,000 young people (aged 14-35) every year in the UK. Although it won’t identify all young people at risk, in Italy, where screening is mandatory for all young people engaged in organised sport, they have reduced the incidence of young sudden cardiac death by 90%. This is because sport – whilst it does not actually cause sudden cardiac death – can significantly increase a young person’s risk if they have an underlying condition.

Dr Steven Cox, Chief Executive of CRY says:

“It takes great courage and determination for anyone who has been affected by young sudden cardiac death to be able to see beyond their own situation and to want to raise funds for CRY and prevent other people from ever having to endure the same devastating grief as they have experienced. Jane and Paul Phillips have shown incredible bravery in their support of CRY, following the death of their sons – which has clearly inspired Donna and Steve to take on this tremendous challenge.”

“On behalf CRY, I would like to say a huge “thank you” all those involved and everyone who will be cheering them on along the way. As well as helping to raise vital funds, this event will also raise huge amounts of awareness for CRY, from Staffordshire and right across the UK.”

CRY’s screening programme is overseen by its Consultant Cardiologist Professor Sanjay Sharma, Professor of Inherited Cardiovascular Disease and Sports Cardiology at St George’s Hospital London. He is also the Medical Director of the Virgin London Marathon. Professor Sharma makes no charge for supervising the CRY screening programme and due to this support, CRY is able to significantly subsidise the programme.

Please show your support and help Donna and Steve by visiting http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/dscyclechallenge

If you would like to join Donna and Steve for the last leg of the challenge, Stoke City to Weston please contact Jane Phillips at janephillips26@gmail.com