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Appearing at the Bristol  Balloon Festival  8th-11th August 2013


What is Cystic Fibrosis?  

  • Cystic fibrosis is a life-shortening genetic condition that kills thousands worldwide and is carried unknowingly in the genes of millions.

  • There are nearly 10,000 people in the UK living with cystic fibrosis.

  • Over two million people in the UK carry the faulty gene that causes cystic fibrosis - around 1 in 25 of the population.  

  • If two carriers have a child there is a 1 in 4 chance their baby will be born with cystic fibrosis.  

  • Cystic fibrosis affects the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, by clogging them with thick sticky mucus. This makes it hard to breathe and digest food  

  • Each week, five babies are born with cystic fibrosis.

  • Each week, two lives are lost to the condition.

  • Only half of those living with cystic fibrosis will live to celebrate their 40th birthday.  


Is there a cure for Cystic Fibrosis?

  • There is currently no cure for Cystic Fibrosis.  

  • The Cystic Fibrosis Trust funds cutting-edge research to develop treatments that limit the impact of cystic fibrosis, one day find a treatment to beat it for good.  

  •  The Trust also makes a daily difference to the lives of people with cystic fibrosis by driving up standards of clinical care, offering support for everyone affected by the condition, and campaigning hard and shouting loud about the issues that matter 

  • Through research, better understanding and treatment of Cystic Fibrosis, life expectancy is increasing. When the Trust was founded in 1964, a child was lucky to live beyond five years. Today around half will live to celebrate their 40th birthday, and a child born today can expect to live even longer.



Who are we ?

My name is Dave Milkins, married to Rose and our daughter Leigh-Anne has Cystic Fibrosis, we also have a son called Robert who does not have CF.   We live in a small village just outside Bristol.

Leigh-Anne was diagnosed when she was 2 years old after convincing the doctor that something was not correct with her constant chest infections, weight, eating and being sick all the time.

After various test we were told that Leigh-Anne had CF, so many questions were asked and the CF Team at Bristol Children Hospital were great and offered so much support.

Then followed a steep learning curve of the history and how to deal with CF

Leigh-Anne now 26 has bravely battled with CF and despite many visits to the hospital, has always tried and succeeds to lead as much a normal life as possible through school and then work and also her social life.

Leigh-Anne first love was working with animals but unfortunately this was not possible because the hair and fur from the animals affected her CF, Leigh-Anne then tried working with children but again this caused a few problems with the bugs that children carry which although would not affect non CF people can affect those with CF, along with the various amount of time required in hospital visits for iv’s and treatment, it became very difficult to carry out a normal job.

Although Leigh-Anne does not currently work, she is actively involved with helping friends and family.

We have been raising small amounts of money for the CF Trust and various charities related to CF in the local area, friends and family have supported us by raised funds by running the Great North Run and various other marathons, A couple of friends also completing in car rallies and were sponsored by the mile.









So why a model hot air balloon?  

I have been involved with Hot Air Ballooning for a few years and after noticing Model Hot Air Balloons at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2009 decided to join the sport.

The sport has a high visibility and I thought that this would be an idea platform to raise more funds for the CF cause.

We have been building the CF Balloon since early 2011 with help from the members of Model Balloons UK, the only club in the UK for the sport (www.modelballoonsuk.com).

The flying debut of the CF Balloon was made at the 2011 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta flown by Leigh-Anne and will now be used to raise money for CF by displaying at as many events as possible.

If you think that the CF Balloon could help in the raising of funds at your event please contact us HERE

The base basket and envelope has been built by BMMB, A local team run by 15 year old Ben Alford

The basket has been built using materials as close as possible to the big sister balloons and finished using equipment from Bölling Sport, a German company who specialise in the sport.

The 6 metre high envelope has been made with ‘Ripstop’ nylon and nomex, which again are the same materials used in the big balloons.

The hot air is provided by burning propane (the same as your BBQ) in 2 propose made coil burners.

The burner is controlled remotely by miniature valves operated by a transmitter similar to a model aircraft.

The basket and envelope are connected together using wire string and carabineers, a small connecting clip.

The basket is normal flown using a tether rope to save having to chase the balloon when the wind increases.

For more details on model ballooning see here