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Crippling disease fails to stop inpirational Uttoxeter fund-raiser

Brian Rowe

Brian Rowe

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AN INSPIRATIONAL fund-raiser with little time left to live has spoken of how he still ‘thanks God for every new day’.

Brian Rowe suffers from a form of Motor Neuron Disease (MND) - the same condition as legendary scientist Stephen Hawking.

While Mr Hawking has astounded medics by living 50 years with MND, most sufferers last just three or four.

And Mr Rowe was diagnosed five years ago.

The 73-year-old is unable to walk and is on a vent to help his breathing at night.

Muscle twitching and crippling weakness of the hands and feet are other symptoms Mr Rowe has to live with every day.

But the Hornbeams resident’s struggles have strengthened his resolve to live the remainder of his life to the full.

He said: “It’s not what I can’t do that matters to me - it’s about what I can still do.

“I travel about on my Rolls Royce mobility scooter, shopping in all the local shops in town, and all the assistants have got to know me and are very kind, loving and friendly.

“I genuinely have a very happy attitude all the time.”

As Mr Rowe condition progresses, symptoms may spread throughout his body and render him unable to speak, move, swallow and breathe.

But he is still determined to make a positive contribution to life and is promoting an MND walk and wheelchair drive at Cannock Chase on May 31.

Participants will raise sponsorship money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA).

Mr Rowe attends Uttoxeter Pentecostal Church and said his faith has helped him stay positive.

He said: “Every morning I thank God for a new day and praise for his goodness in keeping me.

“I go to church twice on a Sunday and my spirit is uplifted.

“Everyone is so kind to me at the church that my heart rejoices.

“I also go to our over-60s group, where we have lunch and play games.”

The form of MND Mr Rowe suffers from is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), the most common type of the incurable disease.

MND affects around one in every 100,000 UK residents, with around 5,000 living with the condition at any one time.

Most cases develop in people aged more than 60, but people as young as 18 and as old as 90 have been known to contract MND.

Anyone who wants to take part in the Cannock Chase walk is asked to call Ann on 01785 256318 or Bernice on 01922 417215.

They can acquire sponsorship forms or just find out more about the walk.

Non-fund-raisers are also welcome to attend.

Those taking part in the walk will travel around a 2km circuit in the picturesque countryside.

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