11 March 2021
We spoke to Charlie, our Chocky Fish selling champ in Tauranga...
Lizzie: Charlie, tell us a bit about yourself and your family
Charlie: My name is Charlie Ford I am 10 years old, and my nick name is Horse! I go to Pyes Pa school, my favourite colour is blue. I love WWE wrestling, Batman, and my all-time favourite thing to do is going to speedway. My favourite thing at home to do is bounce on my trampoline.
My Dads name is Glenn, and my mums name is Kim and I have an 11-year-old brother named Henry. We all love having holidays in our caravan especially when it is going to other speedway tracks out of town.
L: What made you want to start selling chocky fish?
C: I wanted to raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis and help other families and people with CF. Plus I get to eat the chocolate fish myself, yum yum!
L: Have you enjoyed sharing your story with your classmates, the people buying chocky fish, and being interviewed for the article in The Weekend Sun?
C: Yes, I really enjoyed sharing my story at school so they could all learn a little bit about CF, mum and dad did lots of talking to people at the stands. It was cool being interviewed for the newspaper article and fun getting my picture taken.
L: Do you think raising awareness and talking more about CF has helped you understand the condition and the importance of treatment and taking pills?
C: I already understood quite a bit about CF and how important it is to do my physio and take my tablets, so I don’t get sick (I have a book and mum writes down any questions I have, and I ask them at clinic), it is mostly helped me talk to more people and give me confidence.
L: How do you feel about how far-reaching you are fundraising, and awareness efforts have been?
C: I was surprised how much money people were paying to buy a chocolate fish, and people also made big donations and didn’t take any fish, so the amount of money coming in was adding up real fast! Then a really nice man with CF called Mark, donated me more fish to sell and gave me a big surprise by sending me a prezzy card for all my hard work! I am still having fun spending it! I never thought things would have got so big, it so cool and exciting!
L: What has been your favourite part about everything that has happened since you started fundraising?
C: My favourite part so far happened after we did the article with The Weekend Sun newspaper - a man named Kerry Remnant saw my story and wanted to help, so he contacted my school to find me. I was so excited to meet him because he is a speedway driver that has super stock and races at the team’s champs every year that my family goes to! My Dad took me to meet him at his house and to see his race car, but the best part was his man-cave full of trophies, pictures, and heaps of cool stuff. He was so nice he also gave me flags, posters, and hats.
I am still in contact with him and he has been helping me with raising awareness of CF and posting cool stuff on his face book page, from that people have wanted to buy chocolate fish and donate money. Mum started a Give a Little page so people could make donation to go to CFNZ Bay of Plenty Branch.
L: How can people continue to support your fundraising efforts Charlie?
C: People can contact still contact us for chocolate fish. We are also getting some CFNZ sign written stickers made to go on race cars to help raise awareness - a big thank you to Paige Cook for getting us some stickers (Paige’s husband and brother-in-law have them on their race cars already).
L: How has your family been supported?
C: Mum and Dad said right from when I was diagnosed, they had so much support from CFNZ, Fieldworkers, Doctors and Nurses they felt like they weren’t alone. Over the years there has been financial help if needed when I was in hospital etc. All the staff at Tauranga Hospital are friendly, caring and Chani our fieldworker now, is a great help to us all, always only a phone call away and regularly at clinic.
Thank you to all the people in our lives for your support and help.
Kerry has been, and is still amazing with Charlie, along with helping raise awareness of CF and willingly contributing his time to fundraising efforts. He is kind-hearted, takes time out for Charlie, he is also like a mentor and teaching Charlie life lessons. Just a genuine nice guy, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
One of the top pieces of advice we could share, is that seeing a psychologist was one of the best decisions we made, and we still go now! Sometimes it's hard to try and think like a 10 year old and know how to explain things, and Karma helps us out with that and loads more! So, a special thank you to Karma, for keeping the Ford family’s mental health in check!