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Kate and Gerry McCann donate £10,000 to local charity fighting heart deaths in young people



Original Source: Leicester Mercury Tuesday 14 October 2014

By Merc_Reporter  |  Posted: October 14, 2014 
By Cathy Buss


Kate and Gerry McCann with Steve and Angela Humphries

Kate and Gerry McCann have donated £10,000 to a charity to help save the lives of young people.


The couple from Rothley have given the cash to the Leicestershire-based charity The Joe Humphries Memorial Trust.


It was set up in memory of the 14-year-old boy who died from sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) while out running near his family home, also in Rothley, two years ago, in October 2012.


Kate and Gerry handed over the money, won in a recent libel case from a national newspaper, at the second annual SADS Awareness Conference at the Tigers stadium.



Dr Ffion Davies, medical advisor to the trust and an emergency doctor at Leicester’s hospitals, said: “Kate and Gerry support what the trust is doing.


“They are both doctors and of course Gerry is a cardiologist.”


She added: “The money is extremely welcome. It will help us with the schools programme, delivering CPR training to students and staff. At the moment we are heavily reliant on volunteers.


“It will also help to support the annual conference and perhaps help us to buy a defibrillator.”


Last year the conference, organised by the trust in conjunction with Leicester’s hospitals, attracted 35 mostly local health professionals.


Numbers were up to around 50 this year with a number of delegates from outside Leicestershire.


Dr Davies said: “We teach delegates about this type of heart disease and how to go back into the local community and provide CPR training for schools.


“We are ahead of the game in this respect.”


The conference, opened with an address by former rugby international Martin Johnson, the charity’s patron, was the culmination of a week of activities, from October 4-11, to mark national SADS Awareness Week.


The theme of the week - don’t be faint-hearted - highlighted how fainting without warning in otherwise healthy individuals can be a symptom of an unexplained heart conditions such as SADS.


Leicester City, Leicester Tigers and Leicester Riders have all backed the campaign.


Demonstrations on life saving skills, including CPR, were given at half time at each of their recent matches.


Dr Davies said: “We have reached out to at least 60,000 people in the last few days.”


It is estimated that 12 young people, aged 12-35, die each week from SADS in Britain.


Steve Humphries, Joe’s father and chairman of the trust, said: “We are lifting the lid on these heart diseases and we are encouraged that key medical practitioners are taking steps to tackle this silent killer.”


He added how much the McCann’s donation meant to him and his wife Angela.


“Both families have gone through the loss of a child in very different ways.


“Kate and Angela have supported each other.”



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