Heart Screening Days Champion
1097. Debbie Dixon
Deborah Dixon, from Cheshire, has raised over £210,000 to fund heart defect screenings for young adults in partnership with charity ‘Cardiac Risk in the Young’.
After the sudden loss of her son Aaron to an undetected heart defect at the age of 23, Debbie launched a memorial fund in his name within ‘Cardiac Risk in the Young’ to raise awareness and provide screenings in schools and community spaces for young people. These screenings are critical for early diagnosis and preventing heart conditions from worsening. Of the 2,500 young adults she has helped screen in Cheshire, 75 have been referred for further investigation and one woman received a heart transplant after discovering she had a serious heart defect. Debbie is now building on her screening work through a partnership with The English Institute of Sport and is funding a 12-month screening of elite athletes.
In a personal letter to Debbie, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“After the tragic loss of your son, Aaron, you have shown remarkable resilience and commitment to improving the diagnosis of undetected heart defects among young adults. The thousands of screenings you have provided have already made a real difference for young people in Cheshire. You should feel very proud of the profound impact you are making in Aaron’s memory.”
“I am absolutely delighted to be receiving this award in recognition of all the work I do for ‘Cardiac Risk in the Young’ in memory of Aaron. Since the loss of our son I have focused my efforts on raising awareness and money to screen for undetected heart defects, in order that other families do not suffer the heartache we do on a daily basis. Receiving this award contributes to promoting the need for young people to be screened.”
Dr Steven Cox, Chief Executive of ‘Cardiac Risk in the Young’, concluded:
“Since 2011, the family and friends of Aaron Dixon – led and encouraged by Debbie – have raised over £200,000 for CRY, enabling the testing of thousands of young people in memory of Aaron and supporting CRY work towards a day when every young person will have the opportunity to have their heart tested.
“Debbie has not only enabled thousands of young people to have their heart screened, but with the support of The JD Foundation she has funded the screening of 100s of elite athletes in partnership with the English Institute of Sport. We look forward to continuing to work alongside Debbie and her family in the future.”
“This is the fourth time that a family associated with CRY has been honoured with a prestigious ‘Points of Light’ award and we are all delighted to see Debbie deservedly recognised in this way, for her incredible commitment to CRY and saving young lives.”