Dan nets $21k for cystic fibrosis

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Bowler Dan Hopkins’ 65-hour bowl-a-thon last week raised more than $21,000.

His body may be aching in places he never knew existed and he may be tired, but he couldn’t be happier; the money raised surpassed expectations and raised much needed awareness about cystic fibrosis (CF).

“It’s blown us away,” he said.

Mr Hopkins, along with wife Jessica and Hampstead Bowling Club members, worked tirelessly behind the scenes to get bowlers and corporate sponsors for the event which took place from 7pm last Wednesday until noon on Saturday.

Mr Hopkins initially bowled, alongside bowlers from around the district in two-hour time slots, for 24 hours straight without a break, and after a quick shower carried on.

But he eventually hit the wall in the early hours of Friday morning.

He was well fed and hydrated but at 1am he faltered.

Days after the event his memory was still blurry.

He took a planned break, and then made sure to take regular breaks afterwards to power through a final push.

In total he slept for three and a quarter hours during the 65-hour event.

It was a massive personal effort as Mr Hopkins has auto immune arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory disease which is a severe form of arthritis. The 42-year-old has treatment every six weeks to relieve the pain.

He has already had two hip operations however he was determined to complete the 65 hours bowling himself, with a 10-minute (bankable) break in each hour, along with bowlers from around the district.

It was doubles play, so at least four bowlers were on the green at one time.

Mr Hopkins was only able to do it with determination and the support of those around him.

He had people making sure he was fed heartily, had physiotheraphy and massage as well as mental support.

“I still can’t comprehend it. It was a fantastic event,” he said.

And he would do it again, although maybe not for another couple of years.

“The last hour was absolute hell, he said. “My legs were cramping, and the pain levels were through the roof. I’m really tired, it’s taking a long time to get over it.”

The auction fundraiser/social event later on Saturday evening saw all but two items sell, a pair of boxing gloves signed by Joseph Parker and a signed Black Ferns jersey. Both items had been put on TradeMe to help boost the coffers.

The givealittle page will stay online until December 20, Mr Hopkins said. All proceeds raised would go to CFNZ, including donations of entry fees from players.

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