Screen time; TV show thanks for couple.
A COUPLE who have given so much to the fight against sudden heart deaths in young people are to get a special TV "thank-you".
Redcar couple Kenny and Maralyn Bowen became involved in CRY - Cardiac Risk in the Young - when they lost their 19-year-old son Ian to Wolff-Parkinson White syndrome (WPW) in 1996.
A rare extra electrical connection in his heart, WPW is one of 11 conditions under the Sudden Adult Death Syndrome umbrella.
Ian's death was as unexpected as it was devastating - but the Bowens refused to hide away.
Vowing to try to help ensure no other families had to go through the same torment, they threw their weight behind supporting CRY.
Together, the Bowens help organise local screenings for young people. Maralyn, 60, is also a trained bereavement supporter and a pillar of strength for other parents, while Kenny, 61, works tirelessly for the charity by making trust and legacy fundraising applications. To date, he's penned more than 2,000 hand-written letters, bringing in pounds 400,000. And now, grateful CRY chiefs have nominated them to appear in an emotional episode of the new Channel 5 show, Celebrity Wish List. The show, due to be broadcast at 7.30pm on Monday, will see Maralyn and Kenny presented with a "dream gift" by presenter Sheree Murphy.
Viewers will find out the nature of the surprise during the show.
But the modest Bowens, who recently joined 150 people at CRY's Durham Riverside fundraising walk, feel they don't do anything special.
Maralyn said: "We haven't done anything different from what any parents in our position would do."
Of their TV appearance, she explained: "We got a call, asking us to appear on a documentary about CRY.
"But when we got down to the head office in Epsom and opened the chief executive's door, she was in there with a TV crew, Sheree Murphy and lots of people applauding us!
"I just started to shake and cry - I couldn't believe it."
The Durham walk marked the start of CRY's Raising Awareness Week, October 8-16.
* For information about CRY, visit www.c-r-y.org.uk
SURPRISE: Kenny and Maralyn Bowen, right, have worked tirelessly in memory of son Ian, inset right. The couple, above, with CRY workers on a charity awareness walk