When one of their peers died from a cardiac arrest aged just 15 years old, boys from Khartoum House, a day boarding house at Gordon’s School, threw themselves into raising money for the charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young).
Their fundraising took the form of bake sales, Christmas raffles and quiz nights. One student, David Hutchings ran his first marathon (in under four hours!) so he could contribute to CRY.
In all the students raised over £1,800.
In recognition of their efforts on behalf of CRY, they were presented with the Surrey Superstars Youth Fundraising Award by the HM The Queen's representative in the county, the Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey Michael More-Molyneux at a reception in Guildford.
The award represented two years of hard work, but more importantly for the boys their fundraising has brought them together for a worthy cause and been a legacy to their friend.
The whole of the school community was devastated following the death of Luke Towers in January 2016. Luke collapsed after playing football and despite the desperate efforts of Gordon’s School staff Paul King, Brett Taylor and the emergency services to revive him, he sadly died having suffered a cardiac arrest.
Luke’s friends were determined to do something to help prevent similar tragedies in the future and so decided to fundraise for CRY which offers support, research, screening and awareness into cardiac risk into young, sudden cardiac death.
CRY was founded in 1995, inspired by the family of a gifted, 16-year-old footballer who tragically died from a condition known as Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC). At that time, it was widely believed that ARVC - a disease which is known to cause life-threatening heart rhythm abnormalities - affected 1 in 5-7 million of the population. Through research, the figure is now known to be closer to 1 in 2-3000.
Every week, 12 apparently fit and healthy young (aged 35 and under) people in the UK die suddenly from an undiagnosed heart defect.
In 80 per cent of these cases, there will have been no signs or symptoms until it is too late, which is why CRY believes screening is so vitally important (particularly for those involved in regular, physical activity). CRY now tests around 27,000 young people each year, aged between 14 and 35 and well over 150,000 since the screening programme was launched almost two decades ago.
Accepting the award, Alex Duke a Sixth Former at Gordon’s said that he and his peers had found it very tough when Luke died but he was glad that they had been able to fundraise and do something positive in his memory.
“We have come out of this with unity for a good cause” he commented.
Paying tribute to his Head of House Paul King and House staff William Keates and Katrione Young, he continued: “They have worked so hard to preserve Luke’s legacy”.
Each of the school houses at Gordon’s has a designated charity. Alex commented: “I think CRY will be Khartoum’s designated charity for a very long time. “