"I feel hugely honoured to have been appointed as a Patron of the Children's Heart Unit Fund (CHUF).
"I am extremely proud of the North East and to have a unit of this calibre serving both the region and the UK is a credit to our medical profession and talented medical professionals within."
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The trophy started at Hadrian's Wall before passing through Hexham and Newcastle on its way to Alnwick.
Andrew Pullan's canoe capsized and he was pulled under the water near Barnard Castle in October 2013.
298 people were killed in the atrocity including Newcastle United fans Liam Sweeney & John Alder.