Locals join fight against cancer at a charity Dodgeball event

Cllr Paul Porter with Emma and Chris Canning, organisers of a charity dodge-ball tournament at Lisburn Leisureplex, handing over a cheque to Gaye Kerr from Angel Wishes. US1534-562cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Cllr Paul Porter with Emma and Chris Canning, organisers of a charity dodge-ball tournament at Lisburn Leisureplex, handing over a cheque to Gaye Kerr from Angel Wishes. US1534-562cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

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Over £1,400 was raised at a charity Dodgeball tournament held in Lisburn recently, as local people joined forces to raise funds for a local charity, Angel Wishes NI.

The inaugural Let’s Dodge Cancer Dodgeball tournament saw 14 teams and 105 participants come together at Lisburn LeisurePlex, as the teams fought not only for glory on the night, but they joined the fight against childhood cancer.

The event was organised by Emma and Chris Canning, whose two and a half year old son Toby was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia) in February 2015.

As Toby has benefitted from Angel Wishes NI during his illness, his family decided to give something back to the charity, which was set up by local woman Gaye Kerr, in memory of her children Helen and Brian.

Angel Wishes support children in Northern Ireland who are fighting cancer related conditions.

Speaking about Toby’s illness, Chris said: “Toby’s symptoms were paleness, bruising and lethargy. To date he has responded well through his first six months of chemotherapy and will continue treatment for a total period of just over three years.

“There are plenty of ups and downs due to his treatment, and this has impacted greatly on family life.

“Since diagnosis, family life is based around Toby.

“He continues to be in isolation, therefore little interaction with other children apart from his sister, Lily Jane and brother Charlie, and he can’t be indoors with other children due to the risk of infection.

“His second home is the Royal hospital for sick children, so much so, that he would let you know his disappointment if we drove past and didn’t call in to see the doctor.

“We are grateful to Angel Wishes NI for putting that smile back on Toby’s face. It’s a simple idea. Kids love surprises and kids love presents. Put the two together and you have Angel Wishes NI.”

Chris continued: “Along with my friend, Julie Nicol, I decided to organise a fundraiser to say thank you to Angel Wishes NI.

“I wanted something different that may have a future and Julie stepped up to the plate and suggested Dodgeball!

“Here we are four months later with over 120 players and countless support from people and businesses, that “Let’s Dodge Cancer” is born.

“I would like to thank everyone that took part and supported the event and can assure you that the funds raised will put many a smile back on children’s face when they need it most.

“The winning team was a group of friends called Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Donate captained by Andy Clarke. They came through against Dolans Jammie Dodgers.

“On the night we raised £1400 with donations still coming in. As my son, Toby has been a beneficiary of the charity I know the funds raised will go a long way to helping children win their fight against cancer,” Chris said.

“If anyone wishes to donate the bank details are as follows and please reference “Let’s Dodge Cancer”. SC: 93-83-35 Acc: 10381009 Name: Angel Wishes NI.”