Charity fundraisers brave the freezing North Sea to help a seriously ill child (From The Northern Echo)
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Charity fundraisers brave the freezing North Sea to help a seriously ill child
8:10pm Sunday 29th December 2013 in News
CHARITY fundraisers braved the freezing North Sea as they took part in a sponsored dip to raise £1,500 for a seriously ill child.
Members of the A Smile for a Child charity were joined by fellow fundraisers as 56 people dashed into the icy sea at Saltburn this morning (Sunday, December 29).
The charity organised the event and invited plungers to dress as Santa Claus and to collect sponsorship for good causes from their winter dip.
Amongst those braving the cold were several who raised money for Esmie Lowes, of High Etherley, near Bishop Auckland, County Durham.
The three-year-old has spent most of her life in and out of hospital as she was born nearly nine weeks premature and has kidney, chest and eating problems.
Chris Read, of Barnard Castle, who set up the charity, said: “It was absolutely freezing but we were very lucky as it was quite sunny and there was no wind.
“It was lovely to see so many people taking part in the winter dip and it was great to raise so much money.
“When we did it last year only five people took part and we raised £500. This year 56 took a dip and we raised £2,500 in total.
“We had people from groups such as the Green Dragon Martial Arts Club, at Bishop Auckland, County Durham, taking part.
“Some of the groups who raised money gave their share to Esmie so she will get about £1,500 of the money.”
Esmie’s mother Laura Lowes is also seriously ill as she has an aggressive bowel disease that has required four major operations and chemotherapy, with more treatment to come.
They both spent the first five months of Esmie’s life at Darlington Memorial Hospital and Mrs Lowes then spent as further month at The Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle.
Although the charity only helps children the money which was raised for Esmie will go towards helping the youngster, Mrs Lowes and her husband Allan.
Mr Read said the charity had so far raised nearly £4,500 for the Lowes family as it seeks to collect £5,000 by the end of February.
Donations to help the Lowes family can be made on-line at justgiving.com/Chrisreadesmie/
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