Lisburn man Colin McCard’s sponsored swim in aid of the Benjamin Murphy Appeal has been made all the more poignant by the death of little Ben.
Colin had originally undertaken the swim to raise money to send blood donors over to Great Ormond Street Hospital to help Ben recover from a bone marrow transplant.
Unfortunately six year old Ben, who suffered from rare disorder of the immune system called Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), sadly passed away and his funeral was held in St Patrick’s Parish Church, Lisburn on Tuesday morning (August 12).
Despite this, Colin made the decision to continue with the swim and on Saturday August 9 he completed a two mile sponsored swim across Ballymastocker Strand to Portsalon Pier.
Colin’s wife, Monica, said the whole family were tremendously proud of his achievement, after completing the swim in one hour and forty minutes.
“What an amazing day it was,” said Monica.
“People lined the pier at Portsalon pier to welcome him in, as did our friends at the beach in which he began his swim from.
“The whole family are incredibly proud of him. He’s our hero.
“We have known Ben’s family for a long time.
“They are our friends and neighbours and our hearts are breaking for them.
“I am so proud of the journey my husband went through to get to the end of a difficult and long swim.
“He had the help of a boat from the Stores at Portsalon and in that boat was a good friend Andrew Casey, who was the one to cheer him on, help deal with the leg cramps and just pick him up when he thought he couldn’t carry on.
“We are so tremendously overwhelmed by the support we received here at home but also in Donegal.”
People are still donating to the appeal and to date Colin has raised over £500, which will be donated to the Benjamin Murphy Appeal.
The money raised by the appeal will be donated to the Make a Wish Foundation and Great Ormond Street Hospital.