Bowling to beat cystic fibrosis

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Daniel Hopkins is organising a 65-hour bowl-a-thon to raise money and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis.

Daniel Hopkins is planning a 65-hour bowl-a-thon to raise money and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis (CF).

With the support of his wife Jessica and Hampstead Bowling Club members, he is seeking bowlers and corporate sponsors to help boost the event. Daniel will take to the club’s outdoor green in early December to begin his 65 hours for Cystic Fibrosis event.

CF is a cause close to his heart; his daughter Caitlin, 17, was diagnosed at aged 12 weeks.

“It was quite a shock,” Daniel said. There were no known family connections to him, or Jessica, despite its genetic link.

It meant a few hospital visits for Caitlin growing up as the condition affects the lungs, pancreas and digestive system.

But Daniel said daily treatment of pills with food, and keeping on top of her health needs is working well.

He said with no cure, it’s an ongoing issue which affects around 520 people in New Zealand.

Daniel says “game changing” treatment Trikafta costs around $479,000 a year, so at the moment was unattainable for many with CF.

He hoped his bowl-a-thon, which he has thought about doing since last year, would raise awareness of the condition and “any funds made would be a big bonus”.

“It’s something different. It’s a bit of fun as well as to support the cause,” he said.

Daniel plans to bowl for 65 hours straight, with a 10-minute (bankable) break in each hour. He will start on December 2 at 7pm and play through until December 5 at noon.

It will be no easy feat for Daniel who has auto immune arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory disease which is a severe form of arthritis and can cause some of the small bones in the spine to fuse. The 42-year-old has treatment every six weeks to relieve the pain.

He has already had two hip operations however he is determined to complete the 65 hours bowling himself, along with bowlers from around the district, taking turns to bowl in two-hour slots. It will be doubles play, so four bowlers will be on the green at one time.

Notices have gone out to clubs to gather names for those interested in playing but corporate bowlers are also welcome. A Givealittle page has been set up for the event, as well as email address, 65hoursforCF@nullgmail.com if anyone wants to make contact to bowl, or is able to sponsor prizes for raffles.

All proceeds would go to CFNZ, including donations of entry fees from players.

Daniel has been playing bowls since first being introduced at aged 13 by his late grandparents Joan and Bert Cadogan, who used to drag him and his brother Shaun along to the Ashburton MSA Bowling Club.

“We enjoyed it,” Daniel said.

“Back then it was an older person’s game but now it’s so different with so many younger players.”

Daniel has been a member of the Hampstead Bowling Club since 1991.

His event has drawn good support from fellow bowlers, including the offer of Allenton Bowling Club’s artificial green if it rains.