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Big prizes at stake in Bromley charity's virtual balloon race

PUBLISHED: 10:18 05 March 2015 | UPDATED: 10:18 05 March 2015

Harry Lightfoot

Harry Lightfoot

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The race will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Trust

A Bromley charity is holding a virtual balloon race to raise money for life changing research into transformational treatments for cystic fibrosis.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-shortening genetic condition which affects over 10,000 people.

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, which is based in Bromley, is getting ready to hold its Big Balloon Bonanza. It will start at noon on March 21 2015 when computerised balloons are released in a virtual world. The balloons will compete in a seven day race, but the path each balloon takes will depend on the actual weather conditions during race week.

To increase the chance of flying further or for longer, all the balloons can be personalised online by choosing the size, shape and even the thickness of the rubber, with prizes for the balloons that travel the furthest.

Each virtual balloon costs just £5. Players need to go online where they can choose a balloon, decorate it and even add a message. They can then track its progress to find out their position in the race.

Strategic partnerships executive, Harry Lightfoot, at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust says: “This balloon race is helping to help raise awareness about cystic fibrosis. I have friends that have lost their battle to this horrible disease.

“It’s a massive daily struggle every minute of every day. I want to help people realise the amount it can affect families and people’s lives, and that people who have this illness don’t have to suffer alone when there are many others out there with the same condition. People don’t have to be scared about their experiences and fear that they are the only ones experiencing certain side effects or other problems that can occur with cystic fibrosis.

“The Trust hopes to release 10,300 balloons in our Big Balloon Bonanza – one for every person with cystic fibrosis in the UK. Many people with cystic fibrosis can’t even manage to blow up a balloon, so a virtual race means everyone can take part and win a prize if they’re lucky.”

There are a number of prizes for the race, with the winner getting a weekend for two in London.

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