April 20 2014 Latest news:
Friday, February 8, 2013
Most parents would do anything for their children and Alexandra Sayers is no exception.
Since her apparently perfect son was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) at three weeks old she has taken the fundraising bull by the horns in a determined bid to speed up the race for a cure.
So far she and project surveyor husband Kevin, 38, of Primrose Way, Bradwell, have achieved a raft of ambitious charity feats raising over £50,000.
But now, having jumped out of a plane and written a cookery book, she is taking on an altogether more dippy seaside challenge - and has already involved more than 200 others including friends, family and firemen.
They will brave the numbing North Sea on February 24 with a few gorillas and bananas among the bathers, helped hopefully by Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo who will fire the starting gun.
Mrs Sayers, 30, a learning assistant at Northgate St Andrew’s First School, said: “I absolutely hated the skydive, it was awful. But if I can do that, I can get into the sea in February.
“It is going to be a great day and even if people don’t fancy a dip it would be lovely if they could come along and support us.”
The couple were devastated when a routine heel-prick test revealed their new baby Enzo, now four, had CF, Britain’s most common inherited disease.
It means an intense daily routine of physiotherapy, antibiotics and supplements to keep him well - but the hardest part for them to deal with is the shorter life expectancy with only 50pc of sufferers making it to the age of 40, and many lost in childhood.
“We are really positive, and he is such a well child. It is not a good thing in our lives but we have to think ‘what can we do to make it better?’”
“We have been fundraising since he was diagnosed at three weeks so it is a matter trying to re-invent something every time because we are often trying to target the same family and friends.
“So far it has been great because the community have been fantastic. It has just escalated from something small. I just hope that people will come and support us. The February weather is part of the challenge.”
She hailed the support of blue watch from Great Yarmouth fire station who were bringing a couple of fire engines for the children as well as dipping themselves.
Meanwhile Enzo is settling in at Woodlands Infant School where he is doing “fantastically well” and showing no signs of being left trailing by his chums.
But the family are desperate for a cure, encouraged by gene therapy trials being carried out by the CF Trust which are said to be well advanced, carrying with them real hope that sufferers can be made better.
The condition means all Enzo’s internal organs are clogged with mucus, affecting breathing and digestion and leaving him vulnerable to infection. There is no cure although new treatments are extending life expectancy all the time.
The dip is at 10am at Gorleston beach near the Pier Hotel. Dippers are asked to donated £5 and some are collecting sponsorship.
The CF Trust has given them 250 beach balls and ponchos which will be handed out to all who register. To find out more email Mrs Sayers via firstname.lastname@example.org