The 1 August 2016 Shine Health Advisers’ Race Update

August 5, 2016 3:17 pm

Our two Clayden Financial-sponsored balloons are 1096th and 1213th out of the 2204 still flying.  Ever so many popped so we are rather lucky particularly since we haven’t done much social media stuff to boost them!  At the moment they are above northern Spain (electronically!)!  If you would like to take a look – or to boost our balloons – this is the link

To sustain life saving and life changing Health Services costs the Shine charity over £180,000 a year, all of which is raised through voluntary sources – Shine’s balloon races make a significant contribution to this every year.

The sponsoring of balloons ensures that Shine is able to continue providing the services and support to children and their families when they are needed most.

Shine’s Health Advisers play an invaluable part in the lives of Shine’s 12,000 members nationally.

Babies born with spina bifida are often very sick when they are first born and the first days at home can be very stressful for parents. Shine’s Health Advisers call on their many years of experience in dealing with families in this situation to re-assure the new parents and “teach” them best practices when looking after their newborn child. The support and comfort they provide is immeasurable as their child will often go through multiple surgical procedures during the first year, something their Health Advisers have experienced on many occasions. They are on hand whenever the parents need them and can provide a lifeline through situations that would otherwise be intolerable.

Prior to Shine’s inception in 1966 should a child have been born with hydrocephalus this was often a fatal condition. The excess fluid built up around the brain due to the condition caused so much damage that survival was near on impossible. These tragedies are now much less common-place due to the invention of the “shunt”, a small valve inserted into the brain for the purpose of draining off the excess fluid.

However, this hasn’t eradicated the issues completely as the condition can sometimes be misdiagnosed or the shunt can occasionally malfunction.

Shine’s expertly trained Health Advisers work with families and individuals throughout the country to make sure that they are aware of the signs of a possible shunt malfunction, as these can quickly develop into a serious situation. They are on hand to offer medical advice and can advise what to do in emergency situations. Sometimes, in adults, a shunt problem develops more slowly and the adult thinks there is something else wrong – Shine’s expert Health Advisers help detect the subtle signs that a shunt is not functioning and ensure the person gets to hospital fast. In this way Shine’s Health Advisers really do save lives.

Concerned with the environmental impact of real balloon launches, the races are now virtual, online and interactive while still promoting the cause and raising money.

Shine ( was formed in 1966 to support those living with spina bifida.

Shine charity ballroom race