Trevor Carson has revealed the heart-breaking story of his seriously ill sister-in-law and how he’s hoping to help raise some money towards her life-saving treatment.
But Carson is set to swap his goalie gloves for running boots during the summer when he takes part in a gruelling beach assault course to raise much-needed funds for his sister-in-law Melanie Hartshorn.
Melanie suffers from a rare condition known as Ehlors Danlos Syndrome which causes all of her joints to dislocate, particularly in her spine and neck which in turn can affect bloodflow to the brain.
The 26-year-old, who suffers multiple seizures every day, is now bed-bound and in desperate need of the life-saving treatment that is only available in America.
“She’s had it from birth, it’s a genetic thing,” explained Carson.
“My ex-wife, Melanie’s sister, has a mild version of it and there’s a good chance my daughter will have it too but we hope it won’t be too severe because lots of people who have it can lead ordinary lives.
“But my sister-in-law has been bed-ridden since she was 12; she can’t sit up, she can’t do anything but lie down 24/7 and that’s not a great way to be.
“It’s got to the point where she’s having 40 or 50 seizures a day. The last few years it’s got seriously worse and she needs this operation now to keep her alive.
“She needs to get to America for it and it’s going to cost £150,000 to get her there and carry it out. It can’t be done in the UK as we don’t have the facilities.
“It sounds extreme right now, and she won’t mind me saying it, but the only thing keeping her going at the moment is my daughter, her niece.”
Carson is hoping raise £1,000 towards the cost of the operation by getting sponsors after signing-up to take part in the Whitley Bay Warrior Beach Assault 10k in June.
While the keeper knows it will a tough challenge – and one requiring slightly different training to what he’s used to during the football season – he is looking forward to it.
“It’s as much about raising money as it is about raising the awareness of it,” he told us.
“We went to an Army Training Camp during pre-season so maybe that will put me in good stead for the challenge – I’ll have to give Ronnie Moore a call and thank him for that.
“It’s something I have to start training for once our season ends; I can’t go running up and down beaches and sand dunes or come Saturday I won’t be able to kick a ball!
“I’ve not set a goal as such; I just want to get round the course and if I can reach £1,000 and get the word out then every bit helps really.
“I understand not everyone will be able to sponsor me but if they can share things on social media that can help because it’s important to raise the profile.
“I’m not going to raise enough but people on Twitter with thousands of followers may hit the right people and it only takes a few generous people out there to spot it and help.
“Simon Cowell spotted something on Twitter and donated £25,000 – now, I am not saying that is going to happen but this is Melanie’s life we are talking about and we are all living in hope.”
Carson will be joined on the course by his ex-wife Meryem and he is hoping that, if his team-mates aren’t able to get involved in this, they will help the cause in other ways.
“The lads have asked about it so I hope some get involved.
“I have had a few other ideas, including a sponsored car wash at the ground when supporters can come down and me and a few of the lads will wash their cars and they pay what they want.
“It’s a desperate situation and every bit can help.”
For more information on 'Melanie's Mission' click here now.
If you want to sponsor Trevor click here now.