James Nicholas Foundation raise more than £40,000 for CRY

A FOUNDATION set up in memory of a 21-year-old graduate who died suddenly from a suspected heart problem has raised more than £40,000 to get other young people tested.

James Nicholas was just four days away from his 22nd birthday when he collapsed at his family home in St Helens, Merseyside in October 2012. An inquest into his death was inconclusive, but it is believed he may have suffered from a heart defect.

His family set up The James Nicholas Foundation to work in collaboration with CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young).

The aim of the foundation is to spread awareness of sudden adult death syndrome, and so that other families don’t have to go through what the Nicholas family did, and so James’ name is not forgotten.

The charity works to raise money for young people aged 14-35 to be tested for an unknown heart condition. If one is found then there is treatment available to help them to live a normal, healthy life.

The basic test is an electrocardiogram (ECG), which is simple, quick, painless test. It examines the electrical activity within your heart and before the ECG you will have to fill in a questionnaire. The test involves lying down quietly and it takes a maximum of 10 minutes. After an ECG a doctor will review the results along with the personal and family history questionnaire.

Since James' death the Nicholas family have known of 8-10 people in the St Helens area who have died from an unknown heart condition.

But they have been able to test 314 people and have raised enough money for at least another 300-400 people to get tested next year.

However it should help us to raise a lot of money to help a lot more people get tested

With the people who have been tested more than 10 people have been sent for further testing, and there has been in excess of 15 people asked to come back to be tested again to see if any changes have happened.

In September 2013 the Nicholas family took part in their first fundraising activity, as James's dad Kevin did the Great North Run, and since then they have continued to do a number of fundraising events.

So far the Nicholas family have held three charity nights, run three half marathons which numerous of people have taken part in, completed a 128 mile bike ride, a skydive,  a bake sale, held Body Shop parties, compleed the CRY London Bridge walk and also the survival of the fittest urban obstacle course.

They are also M&S charity of the year in St Helens, which means they can bag pack in the local Marks and Spencers whenever possible.

For the future the Nicholas family have got planned more charity nights, more charity runs, more bake sales and Body Shop parties.

They also have Tough Mudder race in September which James' sister Caitlin will be taking part in. She said: “I’m excited but also very nervous for Tough Mudder as I am the only girl doing it in a big group of boys. However it should help us to raise a lot of money to help a lot more people get tested."

Twitter @JNfoundation_

Facebook : Thejamesnicholasfoundation

You can donate: Text JMNF90 to 70070 to donate £1 straight away.