Frances dares to zip across the sky for good cause

Frances pictured with Jonathan Gamble and Sylvia Pearson as they prepare to take on the Zipline challenge. INNT36-508CON
Frances pictured with Jonathan Gamble and Sylvia Pearson as they prepare to take on the Zipline challenge. INNT36-508CON
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BRAVE Glengormley woman Frances Ashe confronted her fears as she ziplined from the top of a 150ft high crane across the River Lagan to raise vital funds for the fight against muscle disease.

Frances, who has muscular dystrophy, didn’t let her wheelchair stop her from joining in the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s zipline challenge last month. She proved she’s a bit of a daredevil as she ‘zipped’ at 40mph, suspended from a 1,000ft long steel cable, across the Lagan.

“I had to transfer from my wheelchair into a normal chair and then I went up in the crane to about 150ft or whatever it was. It was so high I couldn’t really see anything except the water below. My harness got hooked onto the zipline and away I went,” she told the Times.

“Once you get over the initial fear of going over the edge it’s actually really good fun and a real adrenaline rush. I’d love to do it again.”

Frances, who began volunteering with the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign 15 years ago, is now urging people to back the charity’s next fundraiser - an abseil challenge down the Europa Hotel in Belfast on September 25.

“I can’t do the abseil myself because of my wheelchair, but I would encourage others to get involved. It’ll be really good fun and it’s for a really good cause,” she added.

The mother-of-one, who was singled out as one of Northern Ireland’s best volunteers earlier this year, is also inviting people to come along to a Halloween disco fundraiser in the Holiday Inn, Belfast on October 28.

For information about the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and upcoming events, call Glenn Oakes on 9075 1497 or email: glenno@muscular-dystrophy.org