CRY or Cardiac Risk in the Young, to give its full name, is a small charity that is self funded.
I first got to know about the charity when Alison Cox called me one evening shortly after we lost Anthony. For those of you that are not aware, Anthony, my son, played rugby at Blackheath FC from U8 to U18, and was a fit and healthy young man with no signs of health problems. One evening in November 2016, I came home and went up to his room where I found Anthony lying on his bed. His heart had stopped and paramedics were unable to revive him. Heartbroken and devastated, but wanting to do something in memory of Anthony and to help others to avoid having to experience what our family has, and with help from our rugby family and Blackheath Rugby, we started fundraising and testing for CRY.
To date about 900 young people have been tested via the Anthony Fitzgerald Memorial Fund. From these tests, four teenagers lives have been saved and up to 15 more have had potentially life threatening conditions diagnosed, thus enabling treatment through early detection. There is much more information on the CRY website about this, and our hope is to keep raising awareness and get all 15 year olds to have an ECG test, made available to them through NHS or whichever route, as standard practice.
Now the pandemic is coming to an end, we hope to start our work again with testing on 4th & 5th December planned at Well Hall. Further testing likely to be held at Old Colfeian’s and Blackfen School next year, with dates to be confirmed.
We have planned fundraising events including a Quiz night in the Greene KIng bar and a rugby memorial game; both having been a great success prior to the pandemic. We hope for more of the same in the future with help and support from friends, Blackheath Rugby Club and the wider rugby family.
This charity is supported by Blackheath FC who are making a £600 donation to the Anthony Fitzgerald Memorial Fund in support of CRY and the work that goes on to bring the chance of cardiac testing to our young players. This donation has been facilitated on behalf of the Club through the auspices of the Former Players’ Fund.