Lisburn man Colin McCard is taking the plunge on Saturday August 9 to tackle a charity swim in aid of local boy Ben Murphy, who is in desperate need of a blood donor.
Ben is suffering from a rare disorder of the immune system called Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) and is in need of a blood transfusion to help him fight off infections during a bone marrow transplant.
To help raise money for the Ben Murphy Appeal, which will pay for donors to travel to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where Ben is a patient, Colin decided to undertake a two mile sponsored swim across Ballymastocker Strand to Portsalon Pier.
Forty-four year-old Colin, a neighbour of Ben, is a swimming teacher at Ballinderry Swim School and a Trainee Rescue Swimmer with Lagan Search & Rescue.
“Myself and my family have a caravan in Knockalla, Co. Donegal and when we found out that Ben’s condition had worsened I decided I wanted to do something to try and help raise funds for the Benjamin Murphy Appeal,” explained Colin.
“The swim is two miles from one end of the beach which is close to the foot of Knockalla Mountain and ends at Portsalon Pier.
“I’m also hoping to have some members of Lagan Search & Rescue Kayak Corp and also Stand Up Paddlers from Adventure One Surf School in Donegal accompany me for safety.”
Colin is hoping local people will rally behind the cause and raise as much money as possible to help save Ben’s life.
“The money raised through the page will go directly to Ben’s family to pay for the travel and other costs needed to bring matched blood donors to Great Ormond Street Hospital for the required time to ensure Ben received the transplant,” continued Colin.
“The donation process requires the donor to be at Great Ormond Street Hospital for up to three days.
“This money will make a difference immediately to Ben and his family as it will allow them to bring the people Ben needs to help him to London straight away.”
A fundraiser was also recently held in Distil in Lisburn and proved to be a great success.
The ‘Superhero’ themed event was held on July 21 and the £5 admission, together with a raffle helped to raise much needed funds for the charity.
Any money left over from the appeal, once the flights and accommodation have been paid for blood donors, will be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Make a Wish Foundation.
If you would like to help Colin raise money for the Ben Murphy Appeal, you can donate online at www.justgiving.com/yimby/benjaminmurphyappeal.
For more information on the Benjamin Murphy Appeal, visit Facebook at www.facebook.com/benmurphysappeal.