A Northumberland woman’s fund-raising bid to help wipe out the disease which threatens to shorten her life has received support from a prince, a duchess and dozens of high-profile businesses.
Diagnosed as a baby with cystic fibrosis and subject to a lung transplant operation at 16, Helen Banks, from Lowther Square, Cramlington, is determined to make a difference in the race to find a cure.
Cystic fibrosis causes the body to produce thick mucus, which affects the lungs and digestive system in particular.
Only half the people who have it currently live to celebrate their 40th birthday.
Now 31, Helen has set herself the challenge of raising as much money and awareness for cystic fibrosis as she can, despite her daily struggle, akin to taking one breath in every five.
She is holding a charity night – Let’s See off Cystic Fibrosis Fundraising Event – at Linden Hall, Longhorsley, on Friday, July 8, to raise money for research into the condition.
Helen is delighted with the response she has had so far to her requests for auction and raffles prizes. She sent a letter to Prince Charles, who is patron of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and received a response from Clarence House offering a Champagne hamper.
Rob Law, the inventor of the Trunki children’s ride-on hand-luggage, who featured on the television series Dragons’ Den in 2006 and is himself a CF sufferer, has donated two signed suitcases.
The Duchess of Northumberland has given Helen three signed books and West End actor Dan Hope, from Alnwick, has sent two tickets to see Wicked, in which he is starring.
A signed cap from American golfer Rickie Fowler, a year’s pass to Beamish Museum and Alnwick Castle and a microlight flight are among the many other prizes up for grabs. Tickets cost £35 and include a slap-up three-course meal, disco and magic. Contact Helen via email firstname.lastname@example.org