Two friends from West Lothian are embarking on a fundraising mission with a difference next Friday as they walk up The Big One, the famous roller coaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in order to raise funds for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation.
The charity is an important one to Nicola Allen from Kirknewton as her 20 year-old daughter, Rebecca, was born with the rare liver disease, biliary atresia, and received a life-saving transplant four years ago.
Together with her friend Jackie Kerr from Livingston, Nicola is always seeking out new ways to raise funds for the charity, which has provided her family with information and support over the years.
“We like to keep things fun but a bit daft” explains Nicola. “Like roller skating over the Forth Road bridge dressed as chickens wearing tutus or running five miles wearing a giant m&m costume. We alternate the years, so one year we have a disco or party night then next we have our crazy idea!”
This year’s crazy idea came to them on a visit to Blackpool last August when they saw a poster advertising the opportunity to ‘Walk the Big One’.
“Jackie and I looked at each other and said ‘that’s what we should do next!’” says Nicola. “It seemed like such a good idea at the time. Neither of us have any issues with heights but then again neither of us have climbed 235ft up a rollercoaster with steps you can see through, attached to a little cable – eek!”
“It will be worth the fear to raise money for a chariTy so close to our hearts and to know that we are helping other families who have been affected by childhood liver disease. Rebecca is keeping really well for now and hopefully continues to do so. She has grown so much in confidence since her transplant in November 2015. I am so proud of her attitude towards her life and will be forever grateful to her donor and their family for making the decision to give my daughter the opportunity to continue to grow into the beautiful young lady she is today. As for her thoughts on us doing this fundraiser, she has always said I am crazy, so it doesn’t faze her at all!”
Alison Taylor, Chief Executive of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation commented: “CLDF is the only UK charity dedicated to fighting all childhood liver diseases, by providing information and emotional support, funds for research and a voice for all those affected. In order to do this however, we rely almost entirely on voluntary donations, so we are delighted to hear that Nichola and Jackie are doing this for us. It does sound a crazy idea but we hope they really enjoy the experience and look forward to seeing some photos from the top!”
You can support Nicola and Jackie in Walking the Big One by going to https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/jackienikki2019?page=1#donationsList
For more information on CLDF visit childliverdisease.org.