News release for immediate use
7 January 2015
Collum meets John Higgins!
Ten year old Collum Coffey was diagnosed with kidney failure at birth. When Collum was sick in hospital as a young child, his mum put snooker on hospital TV once children’s TV was finished and Collum’s love of the game began here. He was lining up balls on the floor before he could even walk or talk and closely follows his favourite player, John Higgins. So Make-A-Wish® UK, the charity that grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions, granted Collum’s wish to play snooker with his hero…
Collum, from Armagh, travelled to The Crucible where he watched a snooker match before meeting John Higgins. The pair played snooker together and John shared lots of snooker tips with Collum and even gave him his dickey bow as a keepsake! Collum and his mum Christina also enjoyed a VIP tour around the Crucible where they met other famous snooker players.
Mum Christina said: “The wish went beyond all expectations and has made Collum even more determined to become a professional snooker player. He has recently found walking very difficult and struggled to move round the snooker table but he got lots of tips from John on the wish and is now feeling really positive. The memories of the wish will stay with Collum forever.”
Collum has been on dialysis and was tube fed from birth because his digestive system was shutting down. In April 2012, when Collum was 8, he had a kidney transplant from his mum which was successful, but he will be on anti-rejection drugs for the rest of his life. Before the transplant, Collum’s growth had been affected by his condition and he was very small for his age. Post-transplant Collum has grown, but this has put considerable pressure on his legs so he is hoping to have a knee replacement and knee extension in 2015.
There are currently 20,000 children and young people in the UK fighting a life-threatening condition. In 2015 we want to grant 1,000 wishes and need to raise £7.5 million in order to achieve this. Make-A-Wish receives no government funding – so every donation really does count.
To make a donation or refer a child to Make-A-Wish please visit our website here: http://www.make-a-wish.org.uk or telephone 01276 40 50 70.
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For more information about this news release please contact:
Charlotte Capper: T: 01276 405093 M: 07557563214 E: [email protected]
Notes to editors:
- Please note that Make-A-Wish does not use phrases such as ‘terminally ill’ in order to respect the sensitive nature of life-threatening conditions and what they mean to children and young people and their families. We would ask that this approach is followed and that the term ‘life-threatening conditions’ is used in material for publication.
- Make-A-Wish should be referred to as Make-A-Wish ® UK in the first instance. Thereafter ‘Make-A-Wish’ is suitable. We would ask that you try to keep ‘Make-A-Wish’ on the same line.
- Make-A-Wish grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions. The charity was founded in the UK in 1986. Registered charity number: 295672/SC037479 www.make-a-wish.org.uk.