Marc Arcuri Cup raises $30,000 for football defibrillators


Marc Arcuri was 15 years-old when he died of a cardiac arrest on the football field, but 16 months later, the foundation named in his honour is doing its bit to help save lives.

It started out as a kick around between friends but over a year later, the Marc Arcuri Cup has grown beyond its organisers' wildest dreams. 

Last year's event raised $6,500, with the funds used to puchase defibrillators for Marc's side, Austral Soccer Club, as well as other local sides.

This year's tournament generated almost three times that amount, receiving more than $20,000 in donations.

Organisers are clearly delighted that goals are being kicked on and off the field.

"If you ever needed an example of the power of football, then this is it," Marc Arcuri Foundation co-founder, Alex Cauchi said. 

"Our aim is to install defibrillators at every club in NSW."

Cardiac arrests on the football field aren't uncommon, with nine players losing their lives in the past two years. 

Some were amateurs, while the over-45 age category remains most at risk.

However, it seems that age doesn't discriminate with Marc, and 24 year-old Bankstown City Lions' player, Kodjo Adjassou, both passing away last year.

It's uncertain whether a defibrillator in those cases would have saved lives, but having one readily available greatly increases the chances of survival.

"Without a defibrillator on hand, you're looking at a survival chance of about five per cent," Response for Life founder, Julia Zuza said.

"With a defibrillator, your chances increase up to the 80 or 90 per cent mark." 

As with the Marc Arcuri Foundation, the Response for Life initiative attempts to raise awareness about sudden cardiac death.

And more importantly, raise money for defibrillators to be installed in as many public places as possible.

The units cost between $2000 and $3000, but don't require any qualification or formal training. 

In fact, the unit itself will talk the user through the CPR process.

Robby Mansour, who is Marc's cousin, is a co-founder of the Marc Arcuri Foundation.

"In terms of the family, they are just blown away by the response," Mr Mansour said. 

"We have a lot of friends, but to see 700 people here today is just amazing."

To donate to the Marc Arcuri Foundation, visit their Facebook page.