Alison Stroud Cox -
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 2013, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Alison Stroud Cox

STROUD, ALISON (Alison Jane T Stroud)
United Kingdom
Born 1944
Married Mark Cox (b 5 July 1943), 5 July 1966 in Uckfield, Sussex –later divorced
[Active 1961-1969]

Competed 3 times at Wimbledon in singles (1961, 62, and in 1964) winning 1 match and losing 3. From 1965 to 1969 she entered doubles only, and from 1966 played only the mixed at the Championships.

Her marriage to Mark Cox was a big event, as Mark was a star of British tennis in the 1960s and 70s. They were wed on his 23rd birthday.

Divorced by 2013. Mark's 2009 webpage on the ATP mentions he lived in Epsom Downs, so the divorce may have been as recent as 2009. She and Mark had 2 sons and a daughter. Alison started the charity CRY (Cardicac Risk in the Young) in response to her son’s hidden heart condition

Blast bio at: Biographies of Female Tennis Players

Last edited by Rollo; Jun 26th, 2013 at 11:15 AM.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 2013, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Alison Stroud Cox

"A TV programme about sudden cardiac death was the spur for my charity"

Alison Cox started CRY – Cardiac Risk in the Young – after her son was diagnosed with a heart abnormality. This year the charity succeeded in supporting a Private Members’ Bill through Parliament, which will see the start of a screening programme for young people at risk of Sudden Cardiac Death. Alison, 60, has two adult sons and a daughter and was married to tennis player Mark Cox. She lives near the charity’s headquarters in Epsom Downs, Surrey.
My younger son Steve was in America on a tennis scholarship when a routine ECG test picked up a heart abnormality. He was just 18. After an emergency angiogram and biopsy he was told, “You’ll never raise a sweat again.”
Back in England it was confirmed that Steve had a potentially dangerous genetic cardiac abnormality that needed to be monitored and this ruled out top-level sport. Further tests showed that I too carried the same abnormality.

The thought: We were told it was “just one of those things” and that Steve was “one in a million.” Other memories nagged me though. In my last year at school, one of my best friends had died mysteriously in the night. Later, I knew a seemingly healthy top tennis player who suddenly dropped dead.

The action: I asked cardiologist Professor Bill McKenna, who worked in the field, what he needed most for his programme. He said a machine to take echocardiograms, which cost £120,000. I launched a skipathon and raised £10,000. One of the women who worked for the company that made the equipment, donated her bonus, which brought it down to £70,000. Within three years we’d reached our target. For research purposes they needed to be able to screen super-fit people. My background was in tennis and, with the support of tennis player Jeremy Bates, we set up the first cardiac screening programme in sport in the UK by testing elite tennis players.

Take off: Bill and I often spoke about starting up a charity. In 1994, a TV programme was made about sudden cardiac death and I was interviewed for it. The programme proved to the spur, but we didn’t have a name for the charity. Then we came up with CRY.

In the box room: We had a large family house but the box room was the only place I could find for a tiny desk and my mounting paperwork. I knew nothing about hearts except they appeared on the front of Valentine cards, but our chairman and our financial director insisted I become chief executive. I had been a full-time wife and mother up until then and had to learn what to do by trial and error. We started CRY with a £30 debt, which was the fee to register the name.

Today: We have 12 members of staff, a two-storey office and I now know that Steve’s case was not one in a million. In fact, eight apparently fit and healthy young people are dying every week from heart conditions they do not know they have. Cardiomyopathy, my son’s diagnosis, is the commonest heart defect, causing problems with the pumping of the heart.

Sport often reveals it as it is the sporty who put their hearts under strain. CRY’s major achievement is to support a Private Members’ Bill this year, which is the first step to setting up a national screening programme to identify, screen and treat those at risk.

My life: Steve, who is fine since he gave up competitive sport, works for the charity with me, and having studied psychology, is looking at the psychological impact of proactive screening. We have a long way to go, but I never imagined that I’d be running a charity that would help initiate change in Government health policy.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 2013, 06:42 PM
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Re: Alison Stroud Cox

Due to all the possible name usages, this could take a while.

Cox's mission is far from over
Crawley News
Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The nationwide tour undertaken by Cardiac Risk in the Young has been hailed as a success by the charity's chief executive.

But Alison Cox MBE believes CRY still has a "long way" to go in raising awareness of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome in Britain.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that on average, 12 people aged 35 and under die every week in Britain from a previously unknown heart condition.

Mrs Cox is keen to see that figure drop and was pleased with the results from CRY's Test My Heart Tour, which screened more than 2,500 hearts and enabled those with problems to take more tests and access further treatment if necessary.

She said: "We found two people with Brugada Syndrome in just over 2,000 people. That's great because it only affects one in 10,000 people.

"The only chance of finding it is through proactive screening so that's why we believe in our screening programme."

Mrs Cox founded CRY after her son Steven, now 33, was diagnosed with a heart abnormality at the age of 18 while studying in America on a tennis scholarship.

As a tennis player herself, Mrs Cox admits she had heard of other players dying for apparently no reason, and when her son was told of his condition, the penny dropped.

"When I was on the circuit, two people died from Sudden Death Syndrome and these were top tennis players," she said.

"So when Steve was diagnosed I thought, I know other people this has happened to in their 20s so how can you say nothing can be done about it?

"That's when I started CRY. I worried how many other people were out there with the same problem."

Her son's condition is a personal reminder of the grief she would have suffered had he not been diagnosed, the grief experienced by many other families who do not uncover a relative's problem in time.

Mrs Cox's experiences sustain her drive to grow CRY and develop new initiatives to get more people to attend screenings and find out if they do have an underlying heart condition.

The screenings also feature ultrasound scans to give more detailed assessments of the heart and, if it is required, the charity will connect people with clinics and experts who can arrange further treatment, including operations to cure the problem.

The success of the screenings and their rising popularity is vindication of Mrs Cox's determination to found her charity in 1995, despite a dismissive response from parts of the cardiology profession.

She said: "CRY is the only organisation doing anything about this. When I started it, I was told I was wasting my time. An awful lot of consultants said I shouldn't do it. But we have come from one death a week to 12 deaths a week.

"Now there is a lot of interest from the medical profession which is key. The next stage is to empower GPs as much as we can.

"Only 20 per cent of people [with Sudden Death Syndrome] have symptoms, and only 11 per cent would survive an attack. For many, the first symptom is when they are dead."

Celebrities such as Sir Steve Redgrave, David Walliams, James Cracknell and Sir Clive Woodward have all added their patronage to the charity, while health secretary Andy Burnham is a keen supporter of CRY's screening programme.

Their backing is vital as CRY aims to raise its profile but for Mrs Cox there is still much more work to do.

She said: "My goal is that young people say to each other: 'You mean you haven't been screened?'

"And the other is to offer the service for free so that as many people as possible have that opportunity."
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