Grieving Families Take Steps to Raise Money for CRY

Grieving Families Take Steps to Raise Money for CRY

A group of families and friends who have lost loved ones to Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) are set to walk a combined 1,600 miles over eight days for CRY Ireland.

The group of 15 relatives and friends set off today from Dublin Airport for the inaugural CRY Camino De Santiago Trek to raise money for screening services for families affected by SADS.

The group will be walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, also known as The Way of St James a pilgrimage route that has existed for more than a thousand years and runs from France through to Spain.

SADS is an umbrella term for the electrical heart conditions that can cause sudden cardiac death in young people, although it can happen in older people, too.

At least one young person per week dies from sudden cardiac death or Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome in Ireland.

Cardiac disease in young people is mostly caused by inherited heart disease or a birth defect. It is estimated that more than 10,000 people in Ireland carry genes for inherited heart disease, more often than not unknowingly.

Among the pilgrims will be Kate Farrell from Terenure in Co Dublin who lost her 26-year-old  daughter Jennifer on May 22, 2002, Sally Carney from Co Offaly lost her daughter Debbie who was just 27, in January 2012.

Brendan O’Mahony from Clonmel, Co Tipperary lost his son Conor aged 32 on July 25th, 2006. Conor had completed the Camino walk shortly before his death.

Martina Hogan from Tullamore Co Offaly lost her 15-year-old son Conor in June 2011 while Marian Ring from Ringsend Co Dublin lost her 28-year-old son, Andrew.

“Ever since Andrew died I have done my best to raise what funds I can for CRY and to raise awareness of Sudden Cardiac Death. CRY saves lives by diagnosing underlying conditions and treating patients ensuring they live a safe and healthy life. We are hoping this Camino Trek will help us raise both money and awareness,” said Marian.

The group will complete a 107km trek in eight days raising up to €15,000 for CRY.

Cry was set up by Michael and Marie Greene who lost their teenage son Peter to the condition with the objectives of raising awareness of the condition among the public, offering support to affected families and to develop a screening programme in Ireland.

A centre for Cardio- vascular Risk in Young Persons was set up in Tallaght Hospital in 2007, which is supported by CRY.

Michael Greene of CRY Ireland said: “We are delighted to announce our first every Camino Trek and I would like to sincerely thank all of our walkers and fundraisers. Monies raised by the Camino Trek will go towards supporting CRY’s free screening service in Tallaght Hospital and directly helps to save lives. Funds will also go towards providing support to family members who have lost someone to SADS.”

If you would like to support the CRY Camino Trek Ireland go to

Some Facts about Sudden Cardiac Death: 

·         An estimated  60-80 people aged 1-35 years die of SCD every year in Ireland

·         SCD may occur because of underlying heart muscle abnormality, electrical disorders, or other structural problems

·         In approximately half the cases the cause may be inherited – close relatives may have a 1 in 2 chance of inheriting the same condition and may also be at risk

·         Conditions that cause SCD cannot be cured, but if diagnosed risk of death can be significantly reduced

·         Best treatment of those potentially at risk includes expert assessment, access to genetic testing and psychological support and counselling – the CRYP Centre is the only clinic in the country that provides a complete service, and it is free to patient regardless of where they live.

·         Almost 1500 patients can be seen each year in the CRYP Centre.

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