Fund-raising in memory of dad who died from Motor Neurone Disease

Liam Vine is holding a charity event at the Littlehampton Labour Club in memory of his father
Liam Vine is holding a charity event at the Littlehampton Labour Club in memory of his father

THE death of a man who suffered from the same condition as Stephen Hawking has motivated his two children to raise funds for the charity which helps people with the illness.

Paul Vine died on December 20, 2012, from the degenerative condition motor neurone disease (MND) at the age of 58.

In a little over two years he went from a 16 stone, physically active metal polisher who worked for Littlehampton Welding for around 25 years, to a shadow of himself weighing just eight stone.

Back in 2010 he suffered what his family had at the time thought was a stroke.

But it was only in February, 2012, that he was diagnosed by Hurstwood Park Neurological Centre, in Haywards Heath, as suffering from MND.

The condition affects the cells that control voluntary muscle activity, causing degeneration in things like speech, walking and swallowing.

It is known to many because of physicist Stephen Hawking, who has suffered from the condition for more than 50 years.

By the time Mr Vine was diagnosed, he had lost six stone. He died later that year.

His son Liam, of Belloc Road, Littlehampton, said: “At first we thought he had a stroke. But he kept getting worse and sounded like he was a drunk because he slurred his words. It wasn’t until we went to Haywards Heath neurological centre that he was diagnosed with MND. He went from 16 stone to eight stone. He had to be fed by a peg. It was horrible. But it made me and my sister stronger because we had to help him.”

Liam, 25, is now organising a table horse racing night to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease Association, the charity which helps people with the condition.

Liam and his sister, Lana, organised a table horse racing in September, 2012 and were able to raise £2,000 last time.

One of the ways the charity helps sufferers of the illness and their families is by providing financial support to help buy specialist equipment.

Liam said: “We want to help someone else who needs the money. We were trying to get our dad a wet room and we couldn’t get the funds. We needed £5,000 and the MND Association said it could provide us the money but there was a waiting list, but when you have MND there is no waiting list. My dad died a couple of months later.”

The event takes place on March 29, from 7pm until midnight at the Trade and Labour Club, in Wick Street, Littlehampton.

Entry is £1 and donations can either be made on the night or sent directly to Motor Neurone Disease Association.