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Friday, 22 October 2021
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Every week 12 young people in the UK die from undiagnosed heart conditions

EVERY week in the UK, at least 12 young people die of undiagnosed heart conditions. Together with UK charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young, Miles for Murg aim to raise funds for more heart screening facilities across the country. 

It’s hard to believe that children and young adults who seem perfectly healthy lose their lives to undiagnosed heart conditions so frequently. The anguish and disbelief left behind for families and loved ones in such sudden and traumatic events is truly devastating. 

These situations are avoidable. There is a simple way to diagnose most cardiac abnormalities. Heart screenings can identify young people at risk and quickly highlight conditions in need of treatment, securing a future for those identified. 

In September 2021, Miles for Murg will set off to take on the 24 Peak Challenge in the Lake District, to raise funds for more life-saving heart screenings across the UK. This gruelling challenge consists of two days of back-to-back cross-country hiking and hill-climbing across some of the toughest terrain the UK has to offer. The first day of the challenge is the same as climbing up and down Ben Nevis, and the second day is equivalent to scaling Mt. Snowdon three times. A daunting task for the most experienced of hikers, let alone a group of novices!

The team at Miles for Murg is a group of seven childhood friends, who unfortunately know the reality of undiagnosed heart conditions all too well. 2021 marks 5 years since James Murgatroyd suddenly passed away from an unforeseen cardiac problem at just 27. James was a friend to all the team and was the younger brother of one member Paul Murgatroyd.

Every week 12 young people in the UK die from undiagnosed heart conditions
In memory of James

By taking on this challenge in James’ honour, Paul and the team hope to prevent other families from going through the ordeal they have. 

All funds raised by Miles for Murg will be donated to the Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) charity. 

Since its formation in 1995, CRY has been working to reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac death (YSCD). CRY supports young people diagnosed with potentially life-threatening cardiac conditions, offers bereavement support to families affected by YSCD and funds specialist referral, screening and cardiac pathology services at leading UK hospitals.

Dani West, a representative from CRY, said:

“James, family and friends should all be very proud.

“Funding is hugely important to us and allows us to run screenings. These heart conditions are undetectable without testing, and the more we can host, the more lives that are saved.

“One day of screening would see more than 100 people tested but costs around £5,000 to put on. This is why fund-raising support like this is so important to us.”

James’ mum Rose Murgatroyd said:

“For us, as a family, it’s all about raising awareness and highlighting the importance of screening among young people – we want to make a difference and help prevent other families going through what we have.

“It’s so important to get this message out there and ensure more young people are screened.”

James’ brother Paul Murgatroyd said:

“In James’ case, there was nothing whatsoever to suggest this might happen. He was never ill, and he was fit and healthy. We’d go running together often – James was a picture of health.”

CRY is pushing for more young people to be screened at every opportunity. Charity organisers say many of the defects are easily detectable through relatively simple scans – but, as these are not commonplace, young people are dying as a result.

Support Miles for Murg and CRY this national heart month. Donate to cause here and help make a difference here

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