Almost 100 death-defying adrenaline junkies took part in a 160 ft charity bungee jump in Bishopstown this weekend, raising much-needed funds for a sick child’s transatlantic operation, writes Kelly O’Brien of the Evening Echo.
The event, organised by the Bishopstown Bar in association with healthy eating company BodyChef.ie, is set to raise between €7,000 and €10,000.
“We did a bungee jump last year and that was for the Cork City Hospital Children’s Club. We raised about €7,000. We saw the reaction people had to it and we said we’d make it a yearly thing,” said Damien Sreenan, marketing manager for the Bishopstown Bar.
“This year we decided to run it again and started to look for a local charity and Care for Cal was the one that we picked. Callum McCarthy is four years old, he suffers from PHASE syndrome and he has to go for an operation in America in July which is around €25,000.”
Callum’s mother, Amy Histon, was among those who took part in the jump, which was held on Sunday on the training grounds of Cork City FC at Curraheen.
The Ballincollig native said she was nervous about doing the jump, but wanted to show solidarity with the others jumping and raising funds for her son.
“We found out Callum was ill when he was six-weeks-old. When he was born he seemed fine. Then we were sent home from the hospital and Callum started to get a rash on his face and it all started from there. He was diagnosed with PHASE syndrome and connected with that they found he had a benign brain tumor. He also had two holes in his heart. One is now closed, so we’re monitoring the other one. He has lots of other health issues attached to that,” she said.
“We’re travelling to America because Callum has an issue with the growth in his hand, in his arm, and it can’t be corrected here in Ireland so we have to go to America to have it corrected. We’re going over in July and the estimated cost is €25,000 for the operation and accommodation and flights.
“We’ll have to stay over there for a period of five to six weeks because it’s actually two operations he’s having. The first will be putting in metal bars and that, and the second one, four weeks later, will be taking them out.”
Amy said the reaction from local people has been fantastic. Among those jumping for Cal on the day included Mark O’Sullivan, a defender for Cork City Football Club, and 96FM presenter and researcher Brenda Dennehy.
After a fun-filled day, participants flocked to the Bishopstown Bar for a live band and a raffle. A number of lucky punters took home prizes, including a Cork hurling jersey signed by the senior team.
Next Sunday, May 8, a Fun Day supporting Callum McCarthy will take place at Midleton GAA from 2pm to 5pm.
* This story first appeared in the Evening Echo.