We hold a special place in Anthony's heart. We supported his grandmother, Mollie Southway, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND), and his grandfather, John.
I would go to their house every day after school
Anthony, who moved to Toronto five years ago, is hoping to raise £3,500 for Treetops. He has fond memories of his Nan and Grandpop:
“I lived on the same street as my Nan and Grandpop during my school years. Both of my parents worked so I would go to their house every day after school.
“When I think about them, I see them sitting in their individual chairs with the Daily Express crossword on the side and Countdown on the television; there was always a Tuppaware container full of chocolate biscuits for us and a bottle of Tizer in the cupboard.
The changes were pretty dramatic
“Nan was a real home-maker. After her MND diagnosis, it was difficult seeing her doing the things which she had done with ease for many years. Things like cook and make a cup of tea. I only saw her twice after the diagnosis and the changes were pretty dramatic.”
Mollie's MND Support Group
Following Mollie's death in 2019, we launched a monthly support group for adults with MND. We named it in her memory. The group currently meets online during the Coronavirus pandemic.
MND has changed our lives
Richard Feist, and his daughter Rosie, attend our MND Support Group. Richard was diagnosed with MND 20 years ago:
“We need to talk to each other. Mutual support, sharing, encouragement and empathy are great for those with MND if only just to appreciate the variety of ways it affects us.”
Rosie has been caring for her dad throughout lockdown:
“MND has changed our lives. We’ve developed an inner strength and a lust for life that otherwise may not have been there.
“As a family we have so much experience and advice to offer to those with MND. My dad loves to help and offer his experience to others. The group has made him feel like he is helping and is a hope for others. I can relate to the families too. I get a lot from not feeling like ‘it’s only us’.
"The biggest thing that has come from it for me is the realisation of how lucky we are, as well as also realising the unique and rare situation we are in with dad surviving 20 years."