South Shields Big Pink Dress fundraising star Big Pink Dress Colin Burgin-Plews gets some good health news - and reveals his plans for 2022

Charity hero Colin Burgin-Plews has had a health boost – and it’s just the tonic he needed as he gets ready to raise even more money.

The fundraising legend from South Tyneside, who has had an operation for skin cancer and faced a heart scare in the last two years, has finally been given some welcome news.

Latest scans, he said, show his heart is ‘back to normal’ and Colin can resume his usual yearly activities of running the London Marathon, Great North Run, Sunderland City 10k and Gateshead 10k.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Although Colin has to take tablets for a heart condition, he plans to step up his support for charity in 2022. And that’s not the only big news.

Colin Burgin-Plews at the start of his sponsored walk in 2020, to say thank you to the NHS.

"I have raised £148,000 over the years so this could be a big year if I can reach the £150,000. It is a big milestone,” he said.

It’s all a welcome change for ‘Big Pink Dress’ as the last two years have not been easy for Colin.

It was in June 2021 that he went through an operation to remove the mole which left him with 16 stitches and a four-inch scar, and with experts telling him he needs to be checked every three months for skin cancer.

And to say thank you to the health heroes who helped him, he did a sponsored walk in the South Tyneside area.

Great North runner Colin Burgin-Plews sporting his dress depicting flags of every country represented in the 2018 Great North Run.

Also in 2021, he lost his mum Pat Walker, aged 76, after a year-long battle with cancer.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In July 2019, Colin was rushed to South Tyneside District Hospital after suffering a problem with a valve in his heart and high blood pressure.

He had a scan and now has to take tablets to control the problem for the rest of his life. Amazingly, he recovered sufficiently to do the Great North Run that same year.

This time, after his cancer operation, he returned once more to be at the start of the Sunderland City Runs where he supported the event although he couldn’t run.

Colin Burgin-Plews, aka the Big Pink Dress, in his latest handcrafted creation after completing the Great North Run 2018.
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Colin said: “I want to forget the last two years. It has been horrific. I have lost a number of friends as well. I just think the next year has to be a better one.”

Back in 2019, he told the Gazette how he still remembers that first time he pulled on a big pink dress.

It was the Great North Run in 2014 and, that year, the charity he was running for had a pink colour theme.

He said: "I only had one thing that was pink. It was a dress that I’d made for a Stars In Your Eyes night where I sang as Diana Ross and the Supremes. So I rocked up to the Great North Run in that!"

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Colin feared he wouldn’t make the £350 fundraising target ... he raised thousands and a legend was born.

He’s no slouch either as he used to be the RAF British 400 metre champion. In 2014, he ran the GNR - pink dress and all - in 3 hours 42 minutes and people loved his outfit.

Now Colin has to take it a little easier but still plans to back worthy causes.

Read More
Paying tribute to South Tyneside's volunteer army with nine archive photos - fro...
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Support your Gazette and become a subscriber today.

Enjoy unlimited access to all of our news and sport, see fewer ads, experience faster load times, test your brain with daily puzzles and get access to exclusive newsletters.

Your support for our journalism means we can continue telling South Tyneside’s stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe - and click here to get a snapshot of the Gazette’s news and sport to your inbox through our email newsletters.