O2 challenge for MS sufferer, 81

Shirley McCall at the top with staff SUS-160923-155049001
Shirley McCall at the top with staff SUS-160923-155049001

A courageous 81-year-old charity campaigner, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, has climbed the O2 Arena in London in her wheelchair to raise funds for other disabled people.

Shirley McCall, from Hampden Park in Eastbourne, completed the challenge with close friend Wayne Maxted in a special wheelchair bike up and over the attraction.

Shirley is fundraising for Sasbah – the Sussex Association for spina bifida and hydrocephalus – based in Horam and also Worthing.

She said, “I think the word for how I felt - other than very happy – was shattered.

“This is the most daring thing I have ever thought up to do. I am so pleased that with the support of a special team of six efficient and helpful staff at the 02, I was able to complete the challenge in two and a half hours.

“Each had their own job to do to ensure my safety. It was a lovely day, but very hot, and the view was sensational.

“I was a bit apprehensive, but it was a really thrilling experience and did get my adrenaline going just a little bit! Would I do it again? The answer is a big yes.”

Shirley worked as a professional healthcare provider until she was 49 when her MS made it impossible to continue with her much-loved career.

She said, “Due to my long friendship with Jean Arnold, who had spina bifida, I have known Sasbah for more than 40 years.

“Sadly Jean passed away a few years ago, but I have continued to support the work of Sasbah and I was honoured to be asked to become an Ambassador last year during its 50th anniversary.

“As part of my efforts, I am looking to raise as much money as I can for this worthy cause. So, despite my own health, I decided to undertake this challenge to help others.

“I also used it as a focus and purpose to help with my recovery from a serious accident abroad when I broke my hip.”

Sasbah CEO Rom Sanglaji was there to offer support on the day and said, “Shirley planned her challenge before experiencing her accident, but has shown such determination to regain her strength and go ahead.”

Sponsor her at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Shirley-McCall.

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