A CHARITY champion whose husband “had everything taken away” from him after being struck down by Motor Neurone Disease has pledged to raise vital awareness of the still incurable condition.
Thomas Gaudie went from being a busy and carefree man with a love of travel to being unable to move his arms, and requiring a home ventilation machine to help his breathing after being diagnosed with the disease.
Wife Shelly gave up her job at South Tyneside Homes to become full-time carer to Thomas, who sadly died from a chest infection at the age of 67 just two weeks before Christmas last year.
Mrs Gaudie is determined to keep her beloved husband’s memory alive – and put a spotlight on a condition she says still needs more awareness – by organising a charity night this month.
The 52-year-old, of Caxton Walk, Biddick Hall, South Shields, is hosting an evening of entertainment on Saturday, May 17, at Cleadon and District Social Club, in Fulwell Avenue, South Shields, at 7pm, in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a progressive disease that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord.
Although there is no cure for MND, symptoms can be managed to help patients achieve the best possible quality of life.
Mrs Gaudie said: “I want to raise as much money as possible to help fund research into Motor Neurone Disease, because doctors still don’t know what causes it and there is still no cure for it.
“It is a rare illness, much rarer than cancer, yet you never see it highlighted on TV, telling people how to raise money.
“Thomas went from being a carefree, spirited man able to be anything he wanted to having everything taken away from him.
“He had a rare form of the condition. he was unable to move his arms and his hands and it affected his breathing.
“I gave up work at South Tyneside Homes to be his full-time carer.
“We were married for 10 years and it would have been 11 in February.
“He retired from his job as an NHS caretaker in 2011 and was diagnosed with MND in 2012.
“There are a lot of good charities out there, doing good work but because MND is such a rare illness and a cure needs to be found, more money is needed.
“I know it is tough for people to find money in these times but it can make a big difference.”
Tickets for the charity night are £2, with band Twilight Zone providing musical entertainment, and chicken curry and chilli con carne served up, with a raffle and bingo also on offer.
Mrs Gaudie is still looking for raffle prizes to be used on the night.
To donate a prize, or for more information on the charity night, contact Mrs Gaudie on 07749 548468 or on email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets can be bought on the door or by contacting Mrs Gaudie in advance.