Parkinsons party to raise funds for research into the condition

Parkinsons party to raise funds for research into the condition

30th September 2015


A MUM of two is fighting back from a shock diagnosis by organising a major fundraiser for research into a condition that blights people’s lives.

Leah Forster has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a neurological ailment that affects mobility.

But the 42-year-old has decided to tackle the bad news head on and is organising a Party for Parkinson’s to raise awareness about the condition and much-needed funds for research.

The teaching assistant at Brompton Primary School and her husband Andrew, a sales consultant at Northallerton Vauxhall dealership Sherwoods, are busy making the final arrangements for the event on October 9 at the town’s Troubadour nightclub.

Leah began having issues with her left side last year and went to the doctors. “I was referred to a neurologist who could tell the minute I walked in it was likely to be Parkinson’s,” she said.

“An MRI scan revealed nothing but I was later told by the doctor that he saw one person a year in their 40s with Parkinson’s and unfortunately this year it was me.”

Parkinson’s is believed to be caused by insufficient dopamine in the brain. It affects one in 500 people and at the moment there is no cure.

Celebrities such as Billy Connolly and Michael J Fox live with the condition but research around stem cell technology might lead to a break-through.

“It has been a shock and my sons Owen and Reuben were upset,” Leah said. “But everyone has been fantastic, so kind and generous.”

The party will feature former Northallerton School students Matthew and Thomas Rhodes and their band Goldsands.

There will also be an auction featuring a huge number of donated lots, ranging from a day’s plastering and decorating, to rounds of golf, signed football shirts, meal vouchers, gym membership, restored furniture and Champagne.

“People have been incredible,” said Leah. “I had one taxi driver drop round £50 and the donations have really snowballed. It is going to be a great night and we have already raised more than £1,000, including a bag-pack at ASDA.”

More than 200 tickets have been sold so far with room for another 200 people. Tickets are available from Leah and Andrew at Sherwoods Northallerton in Standard Way and cost £5.

Managing director Alasdair MacConachie said: “Leah and Andrew are being an inspiration to us all by tackling the bad news in such a positive fashion.

“It is only when our lives are touched by something like this that we realise how important it is for the community to rally around those involved and to raise as much money as we can for the charities who are striving to find a cure.”

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