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Brighton Marathon runner Keith Parkinson raises £10k for Ben Daniels Memorial Fund
A MARATHON runner has raised £10,000 for a memorial fund set up following the death of a Bickley teenager who suffered cardiac arrest playing football.
Ben Daniels, 15, collapsed due to an undetected heart condition in March last year while training for the Ex Blues FC at Queensmead Recreation Ground in Shortlands.
Keith Parkinson, father of Ben's team mate Ryan, ran the Brighton Marathon in three hours, 58 minutes with proceeds going to the Ben Daniels Memorial Fund.
The fund aims to get heart screening for young people within the sporting communities that Ben was part of.
Mr Parkinson, 48, said: "Having held the view for many years that anyone who wants to run 26 miles must be mad – I mean, that’s what cars are for!
"We bring children into this world – we care for and protect them to the best of our abilities. As parents, our deepest fear is that something may happen to our children, in the way of accident or illness. I had never even considered that a normal, healthy boy of 15 would just collapse and die.
"Ben had suffered Sudden Cardiac Death – sometimes abbreviated to SADS – a condition I had only vaguely heard of from a professional footballer, Marc-Vivien Foé, suffering the same during a game in 2003.
"I hated the training. I hated the idea of the run. It’s not something I am doing to say that I have done it – but I did it because I am sure that Ben and other children who have suffered from this condition would love to be here and running about - but unfortunately they are not.
"If I can succeed in raising the profile of CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young charity) and making you all aware of this condition, we can provide extra money to allow CRY to carry out screening.
"If only one person is found to have this condition before it is too late and another set of parents are saved the horrific anguish of losing a child, then it will have all been worth it."
For more information about the fund visit bendanielsmemorialfund.co.uk