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Family takes the fundraising plunge
8:40am Sunday 13th May 2012 in News
FAMILY members have taken a leap of faith for their mum.
The children of Jackie Higginson, 48, from South Ockendon, who has motor neurone disease, did a tandem skydive from 15,000ft at Sibson Airfield, Peterborough, to raise money for St Luke’s Hospice and the MDA Association.
Less than five years ago, fit and sporty Jackie, a mother of four, step-mother of two and grand-mother of one, contracted the disease, a progressive condition that selectively affects cells that control voluntary muscle movement.
Jackie is now in a wheelchair, leg splints and a neck brace.
She requires a stairlift, a wet room and will eventually need a machine to help her communicate.
She needs a non-invasive ventilator to help her breathe at night. One day she will need this to keep her alive.
Jackie, who is married, said: “I am fighting against a disease which has taken away the life I had and is taking the life I thought I would have.
“MND will leave me mentally alert but trapped in a body that does not work. Getting a diagnosis has been a struggle lots of tests, doctors and hospital stays, but there is no cure.”
There are 5,000 people in the UK with motor neurone disease, which claims the lives of five people every day.
The efforts of Jackie’s family have so far helped to raise more than £1,500 for St Luke’s Hospice and the MND Association. Jackie said: “St Luke’s Hospice have been supporting me emotionally, practically and medically.
“It is there for the family as we fight this disease which effects the whole family and its dynamics.
“The Motor Neurone Disease Association has also been there for us giving advice and loaning us equipment.”