The myHeart support network
Receiving the news that you need to be treated for a heart condition is not easy news to take, so CRY set up the myHeart network that provides personalised help, support and information to individuals diagnosed with life-threatening conditions, whether inherited or congenital. It was developed in response to feedback from young people who found that support groups just weren't quite good enough at helping these individuals cope with issues of having pacemakers installed, or undergoing surgery. The great thing about the network is that it is there to develop effective coping strategies and reduce social isolation that could come with such devastating news.
CRY funds medical research through grants which cover everything from fast-track screening to pathology after a death. They also help to provide specialist knowledge of sports cardiology.
Research fellows spend most of their time at hospitals in London working with Professor Sharma at the CRY Inherited Cardiovascular Conditions clinics (St George’s & Lewisham University Hospital). When attending screening events, research fellows carry out consultations with every person that CRY tests, and manage all the abnormal screening results.
Within their role as an academic, they will often publish abstracts and posters of CRY’s research; publish articles in peer-reviewed journals; and present their research at international conferences.
Here are a few highlights from their research that highlight the importance of their goal of stopping YSCD:
Screening young, apparently healthy people will identify minor abnormalities in 1% of people and about 0.3% of the time with potentially serious disorders
CRY was the first organisation ever to characterise cardiac dimensions in adolescent athletes most vulnerable to sudden death during sport
CRY is the only charity to focus specifically on athletes of West African origin, and results show that echocardiograms (image of the heart) are quite different to caucasian athletes, which could be mistaken for serious cardiac disorder.
Important dates for your calendar
November 18th to 26th - Raising Awareness Week
How you can help CRY
For anyone that fancies themselves as taking on a truly physical task, you could take on the Tough Mudder series or the Spartan Race, or if you just fancy running or jogging, there are places in the Hampton Court half marathon or the London Landmarks half marathon. All details can be found on their CRY Events page on their website.
Join the CRY community or have them join you at your own fundraising event! There are lots of events going on throughout the year, and supporters can list their events on the Supporter-led events page on their site. From Meat Loaf Tribute acts, to a Bollywood & Hollywood inspired dinner event, there is always something for supporters to attend.
Last but not least, please help spread the word and encourage your friends and family, your colleagues to be screened. More screenings = more answers = more lives saved.