Midlands band, Miccoli, to play at some of the UK’s busiest shopping malls as part of nationwide awareness campaign in partnership with leading cardiac charity.
Family rock trio, Miccoli, are today [Saturday 30th August] launching a nationwide, 12 week tour of large shopping centres across the UK to raise awareness – particularly amongst a young audience – for the charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).
The tour, which kicks off today at Whiteley Shopping Centre, Farnham, will see the siblings that make up Miccoli (Alessandro, Adriano and Francesca) travel from Swindon to Slough and Leeds to London as they perform weekend, “day-long” sessions to shoppers, in a bid to spread the word about CRY and the work it does to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death in young people.
The band has a very personal and poignant association with the charity, following the diagnosis of 29 year old, Alessandro with a condition known as Wollf-Parkinson White (WPW). Although Alessandro had been born with the condition, he remained unaware until a frightening episode when he collapsed back stage after a gig in Birmingham in 2009. He has since undergone four rounds of a corrective surgery – a procedure known as ablation and whilst the band continue to write and perform their music, Alessandro is waiting for the final all-clear from his consultant, after his most recent, and hopefully final, treatment.
Alessandro says; “This experience has taught me not to take anything for granted and to really appreciate family and friends. For me it all boiled down to two simple choices, cry or laugh. I chose the latter, accepting my condition and carrying on with my life – and not let this potentially depressing and life threatening condition dominate my life.”
“Young people don’t carry life’s excess baggage. Having spent a lot of time in consultations and on hospital wards, I quickly became aware how the older generation found it more difficult to cope and to come to terms with their condition. This tour is all about educating and informing people that there are ways to stay ahead of these conditions to take steps to find out if you might be at risk. If you are, then don’t panic, you can be successfully treated and go on to lead a normal life. I just don’t want any other young people out there, with their life ahead of them, to leave it until they collapse as I did and have to undergo emergency treatment – or even worse.”
Every week, 12 young (aged 35 and under) people lose their lives to sudden cardiac death in the UK – a statistic that is believed to be a conservative estimate. 80% of these apparently healthy young people will have shown no previous sign of heart defects, until it is too late.
That’s why CRY believes screening is so vitally important and campaigns for access to cardiac testing for people aged 14-35. CRY’s pioneering screening programme now tests around 15,000 young people nationwide every year. In Italy, where screening is mandatory for all young people involved in regular sporting activity–even at grass-roots level -the death rate has dropped by almost 90%.
Alison Cox MBE, Chief Excecutive and Founder of CRY says; “We are delighted that Miccoli has decided to take on this huge tour for us. They are an immensely talented young, upcoming band and their passion and enthusiasm for CRY will play a crucial role in communicating our important messages about screening and the other specialist services we offer for families and young people affected by the conditions that can cause young sudden cardiac death.”
“As one of our young ‘role models’, Alessandro is also a member of our “myheart” group and last Autumn attended a prestigious event at the House of Commons during our Awareness Week, to help launch a new resource, especially designed to support other young people who have recently been diagnosed with a heart condition. It is therefore very fitting that the Miccoli tour will culminate during CRY Awareness Week in November and, as we approach our 20th anniversary in 2015, they are truly representing a new generation of ambassadors for our charity”.