Wonderful and consistent community support has seen the Stephen Lyness Memorial Fund move towards the six-figure mark with another £5,000 presented to the fund.
Stephen – on his 18th birthday – was found dead in bed in the family home at The Beeches by his father Geoffrey in December 2004, the victim of SADS (Sudden Death Arrhythmia Syndrome).
It is a mystery illness that often strikes at active young sports people, and Stephen was an all-rounder, playing GAA for the local Tir na nOg club and soccer in the Mid Ulster League.
Ever since his death, Stephen’s mother Catherine, his father Geoffrey and sisters Natalie and Jenny have led the fund-raising effort. And another £5,000 has been presented to on-going research at the London Heart Hospital, where the Lyness family have been so supportive of non-stop research.
The cheque was handed over by Catherina and Natalie to Dr Pier Lambiase and Specialist Nurse Eileen Firman. The total is around the £100,000 mark, with so many people participating.
Three consistent (and superbly supported efforts) raised the bulk of the cash this time – the annual sponsored cycle from Portadown to Scarva along the Newry Canal towpath; the X Factor night at The Tunnel Bar; and the collecting box at Costcutters on the Garvaghy Road.
Said Catherine, “We deeply appreciate the year-by-year support of the community. The research money is, of course, vital, and it help to keep the memory of Stephen in everyone’s mind. Hopefully, our efforts and the research will unravel the mystery of SADS, and that would be the best possible memorial to Stephen.”