Foundation Senior Manager Joe Williamson is set to walk and cycle over 24 miles per day for 92 consecutive days to provide a heart screening day with Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY UK).
Starting today, Thursday 1st June, Joe is set to begin the Virtual 92 Challenge, which will see him walk and cycle 2,222 miles in just 92 days to cover the distance between 92 Football Club Stadiums, all to raise £9,200 for a cardiac screening day in Sheffield.
Joe said: “I’m looking forward to the challenge, whilst it will be tough to balance over 24 miles a day and continuing to work full time, it will be worth all of the aches and pains to provide 100 young people with potentially lifesaving heart screenings.”
Every week, at least 12 young people pass away from undiagnosed heart conditions. CRY UK works to reduce this number and offer support to those who have been affected by sudden young cardiac death.
Joe is keen to complete the Virtual 92 Challenge for a cause that’s personal to him and to many people within the Football network.
Joe added: “Unfortunately, I lost my cousin in 2017 aged just 31 to an undiagnosed heart condition. So this is a real personal challenge for me, whether it’s the hard yards on the walks or the tough distances on the bike over 92 consecutive days, I remind myself that there are people who are suffering a lot more than me, both emotionally and physically. Knowing what I’m doing could potentially save multiple people’s lives is all the motivation I’ll need when it gets tough.”
Joe has had lots of support from colleagues, including joining him for a walk on Saturday 1st July which will see friends and colleagues accompany Joe on a walk from the New York Stadium to Hillsborough to Bramall Lane.
“I’m incredibly proud to work with a team of people who live by the Foundation’s values on a daily basis, their support so far both in donations and well wishes has been fantastic and I can’t wait to share part of the journey with them on 1st July. I’d also like to thank Phil Ridley from Glistening Kicks for sponsoring my footwear and a special mention to Lee Brown for the support and providing the Virtual 92 Platform.”
Chief Executive of the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) Dr Steven Cox said: “Every week, 12 apparently fit and healthy young people (aged 35 and under) in the UK die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. In 80% of these cases, there will have been no signs or symptoms of a heart defect until it is too late, which is why CRY believes screening is so vitally important.”
“We have always had such inspiring support from families – such as Joe – who’ve been affected by a young sudden cardiac death, and I always find it so humbling that despite their own experience, bereaved families feel able to back us through amazing awareness-raising efforts and fundraising challenges – such as the inspiring Virtual 92 event which Joe will be taking part in over the next 3 months.”
“And, even before the campaign actually ‘kicks off’ on June 1st, Joe has raised more than 60% of his initial target, which is just amazing!”
Dr Cox concludes: “So, on behalf of the entire CRY team, I’d like to thank Joe and Sheffield United Community Foundation for their incredible support – and to let Joe know that we’re with him every step of the way!”
We’ll be providing regular updates on Joe’s progress throughout the gruelling 92 day challenge, please show your support for Joe at the link below:
Anyone who’s interested in booking a free screening or finding out more details about an upcoming local event with CRY can do so at www.testmyheart.org.uk.