Members of the Haywards Heath AFC will take on a series of fund raising challenges after being inspired by a former player with a life changing disorder.
Teammates are aiming to raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust by creating their own calendar, hosting a barbeque, doing an ultra marathon, braving a skydive and putting on a special football match.
They have been inspired by their former team player Martin Tallant.
Martin, 29, of America Lane, Haywards Heath, was diagnosed with CF at the age 14 and was told he may not live to the age of 18.
Martin said: “I feel truly blessed to have these wonderful blokes as ex-team mates and to have played alongside them.”
Since turning 18 doctors have told Martin he would be lucky to reach 21, or 25. But he continued to surprise them.
CF is a genetic disorder in which the lungs and digestive system become clogged with thick sticky mucus. Symptoms include a persistent cough, recurring chest infections and poor weight gain.
Martin has to take 50 to 70 pills a day, do physiotherapy sessions, take drugs through a nebuliser machine and spend ‘countless amounts’ of time in hospitals.
He said: “It’s more about making sure that I avoid picking up little coughs and flu like things as each time I do I could easily end up with a two week hospital stay for IV antibiotics.”
Martin’s dietitian recommends he consume 5,000 calories a day.
He said: “It’s not been easy but I, with the close support of friends and family have battled through some tough times.”
He played with the team for two seasons. The last game he played was in 2013.
He said: “I left at the time with the hope of coming back as it was my ankles that were struggling having been born with bilateral talipes (two clubbed feet).”
A BBQ and raffle will be held at the Heath Pub and the football match will be held at Victoria Park on September 21. Details of other fund raisers are still to be finalised. To donate visit: www.justgiving.com/Afchaywards/