Please Join Me in a Scrumptious Cake Break to Help Raise Funds For MS

This month I hope you don’t mind me using my role as editor of Bishopston Matters to share with you part of my family life, in particular relating to my father and his ongoing battle with the debilitating disease Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Diagnosed with MS at the tender age of 22, I have only ever known my dad being in a wheel chair. MS has always been a part of our family life and a very happy family life it is too with much love and care shared and I have been lucky to grow up with my mum, dad and doting older brother always keeping a watchful eye over me.

My mother is main carer of my dad and is a tower of strength. My dad himself maintains a positive spirit and good nature and together they are a partnership to be proud of. This is not to say that the illness has not impacted on our family with sadness at times and our day to day life is not always ‘normal’ – although I realise that different families each have different things to contend with and the important thing is to get through it together.

In MS, the immune system attacks the central nervous system, damaging the coating of the nerves that carry messages throughout the body.

MS affects around 100,000 people in the UK.  and each sufferer is affected in a unique way. Its varied symptoms can strike without warning and include loss of mobility and sight, muscle spasms, slurred speech, fatigue and depression. For some people, MS is characterised by periods of relapse and remission, whilst for others it has a progressive pattern. For everyone, it makes life unpredictable.

In the case of my father it has shown a progressive pattern, with his health and mobility declining over the years. The worst time for us all resulted in Dad spending a long time in hospital last year with serious recurring chest infections. It was discovered these were being caused due to fact that dad’s throat muscles have now weakened so much so that every time he swallowed parts of food or drink were getting onto his lungs. To prevent this a small operation was performed that now means all food and liquid is fed directly into his stomach. A harsh blow for all of us, but especially for dad who used to enjoy his food.  However, the family once again rallied and a year on life has settled again. As well as the unfaltering support of my mother we must thank a dedicated team of carers that attend our home each day to assist in the care of Dad – we have been very lucky with all the help we receive.

This story is not meant to be a sad one but an insight into the life of one MS sufferer. I hope my mum and dad may be an inspiration (as they are to me) for us healthy souls to appreciate what we have and get out there and make the most of life.

In his youth dad was extremely active, he never wasted a minute. A life time supporter of the scouts he has climbed many of the mountains across Great Britain. These memories keep him going and if you have a spare hour or five he will happily share them with you! I must warn you he has a terrible sense of humour!

The events of last summer and the support we received did however get me thinking that is was the right time for me to set about some fundraising for the MS Society Bristol. So now I would like to ask you good people to support my first fundraising event in our community if you can.

On Saturday 21st May from 10 am to 12 noon I will be hosting a Cake Break at the Horfield Baptist Church (who I would like to thank for their kindness already) on the Gloucester Road (or disabled access via Brynland Avenue).

Everybody is welcome and encouraged to join in. There will be selection of delicious cakes on offer (do feel free to get baking yourself) to be purchased with a nice cup of tea, coffee or squash. A small entrance fee will be charged as it is all going to the MS Society. There will be activities to keep the kids entertained and a super raffle. If anybody would like to get involved with the organising or can volunteer a talent or form of entertainment please do get in touch with me. I will welcome your support. I will also be on the look-out for raffle prizes so if there is any local businesses out there that would be willing to donate a prize that would be fantastic!

For everybody else the most amazing thing you could do would be to come along and enjoy yourselves. It will be a fun informal event for the community.

For anybody that would like to show their support but cannot make that day I have set up a website where you can make donations. Thank you all so much for your time and I look forward to meeting a lot of you on the day.

Please contact me Kerry on 07881 924 059 or kerry@bishopstonmatters.co.uk

For donations visit http://beatms.mssociety.org.uk/netcommunity/kerryatbishopstonmatters

Community Cake Break, Saturday 21st May, Horfield Baptsit Church, 10am to 12 noon. All ages welcome. Raffle & Kids Activities.

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