Parents abseil down mailbox for their son

Family and friends of Ethan Marshall, a three year old who died in 2009 from a heart condition, are abseiling down Birmingham's Mailbox on Saturday 16th April. They're raising money for cardiac equipment for the Birmingham Childrens Hospital's specialist unit. 

Ethans mum and dad, Julie and Andrew, plus nine of their friends and family, are abseiling the 131.6 ft drop. They have raised nearly £44,500 since they began their fundraising efforts 18 months ago. 

Having previously raised funds through a mixture of activities, including sponsored walks, charity cricket matches, cycle rides, fun runs and a charity Calendar Girl style calendar, this is the first time they have embarked on an abseil. 

Julie says:

"I have never done an abseil before so I am apprehensive but looking forward to it. We are hoping the weather holds out and there are no gales on the day! The support we have had from our friends and family has been amazing, and we are pleased that so many of them will be

taking part in the abseil too." 

Ethan was diagnosed with Transposition of the Great Arteries - a condition where the blood flow circulating the body is not being reoxygenated through the normal cycle into the heart and lungs.  Despite the best efforts of the medical team, Ethan's complications proved fatal and he passed away on 5 June 2009. 

Andrew said: 

"Ethan was a positive, happy child who always faced his challenges with a smile on his face.  He was an inspiration to so many people and it is testament to his character that we have had so much support from family, friends, as well as complete strangers.  The staff at the hospital have been so good to us and the care Ethan - and us as a family - received was first class and we just want to say thank you in what we see as the best possible way."