Newcastle’s Big Freeze

Chris Fanning, Principal of St Mary’s Primary School, Warners Bay, will be taking part in the Big Freeze Slide to help raise money for Motor Neurone Disease research.

Chris was diagnosed with the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in February 2018.

The disease can affect anyone and there is currently no known cure or understanding around what lifestyle factors contribute to contracting the disease.

Despite having one of the highest rates of diagnosis, medical research into finding the cure and causes of MND is currently underfunded in Australia.

Driven by a local committee of volunteers in partnership with the Newcastle City Blues (AFL) and FightMND, the Big Freeze event aims to raise awareness and funds to help find a cure for MND.

Around 20 local personalities, including Chris, will take the plunge into a pool of ice water at Newcastle’s No. 1 Sportsground.

Not only will families and spectators get to watch the slide, there is also the chance to get involved in an AFL game with the Newcastle Blues.

Plenty of merchandise will also be available for purchase to help raise even more money in the fight against MND.

Along with the main event, a special group run will be held before and after the big slide. The relaxed pace run will start at the Newcastle Parkrun start line in Carrington and head to the sportsground to watch the slide participants.

After cheering on the sliders, runners will then make their way to Carrington Bowling Club where refreshments and food will be available.

Tickets for the running event are available here.

After just one week of launching his fundraising page, Chris smashed through his $30,000 goal and is now on the way to raising $50,000. As a result, Chris’ wife and children will now also be sliding with him.

“Chris’ participation in The Big Freeze is another example of the selfless and inspirational person that he is,” said Liz Starling, Acting Principal of St Mary’s Primary.

“He has been there for the ups and downs of others’ lives and it’s wonderful to see those people acknowledging the huge impact he has made on them over his many years as a teacher and friend.

“The St Mary’s community will be there on Saturday to cheer Chris and his family on as they slide!”

If you would like to support Chris in his fight against MND, you can donate by clicking here.

Follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.