True-Blue from Connah's Quay has high hopes for fundraiser


David Humphreys

A LIFELONG Evertonian has completed a zipwire challenge across Goodison Park to raise money for a charity close to his family’s heart.

Colin Challinor, 66, flew over the famous turf on Sunday to generate funds for Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Colin, of Connah’s Quay, strapped himself in for the charity that supports people like his two-year-old granddaughter, Alyssa, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at just four weeks old.

Speaking of her diagnosis, Mr Challinor said: “It was just heartbreaking to find out.

“We received a call from Wrexham Maelor Hospital to say that there might be a possibility of Alyssa having cystic fibrosis following a standard heel prick procedure they’d done.

“We knew the outcome before we’d even reached the hospital.”

Cystic fibrosis is the UK’s most common life-threatening inherited disease, and affects the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, by clogging them with thick sticky mucus.

The average life expectancy for a baby born with cystic fibrosis is between 30 and 40. There is currently no known cure.

“One day, you think you’ve got a perfectly healthy granddaughter, then she has this life sentence hanging over her,” he added.

“We’re still trying to get over it really, we don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Colin took on the challenge with his son and Alyssa’s father, Lee, 38 and the family’s association with Everton runs deeper than just supporting from the terraces.

Colin’s uncle, Gordon Watson, was part of the 1938-39 championship winning side and before that played with Toffees legend Dixie Dean.

“I had to do this when the chance came up,” said Colin.

“We’re a small family without a massive circle of friends, so we just tried to raise as much as possible.

“I’ve abseiled off the Runcorn Bridge before but I enjoyed this more given where it was.”

The father and son have so far raised £470 through their challenge and the former Shotton steelworker said he and his family will continue to do more.

“We will do as much as we can in the future, we’re always doing something,” he added.

“The ultimate aim is to find a cure that will give Alyssa a long and healthy life.

“There’s a general lack of understanding about cystic fibrosis and because Alyssa looks well, people assume she is well.”

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