A north Northumberland woman has just completed her first skydive – the latest fund-raiser inspired by her friend whose life has been devastated by a rare disease.
Carol Johnson, from Wooler, jumped from 10,000ft in a tandem skydive, which she described as ‘an awesome experience’, in aid of the PSP Association.
The PSP Association provides practical help and advice for people with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a neurodegenerative brain disease with no known cause, treatment or cure.
It affects nerve cells that control walking, balance, mobility, vision, speech and swallowing.
Carol, 56, who works in the Co-op in Wooler, said: “My close friend, Doreen Lane, was diagnosed with this rare condition three years ago; it affects five in 100,000, it robs people of their speech, their mobility, their swallow mechanism and eventually their lives.
“It is devastating for families and friends of sufferers to watch the decline of their loved ones.
“Doreen is lucky that she has the support of her amazing husband Roger, who is her full-time carer and he is able to look after her at home with the help of nurses and Careline, which has wonderful girls going in to see her four times a day.
“As I can no longer do anything physically for Doreen, I decided to fund-raise for the PSP Association to help raise awareness and money.
“Last year, I ran the Great North Run for the first time, being a non-runner, which was a great challenge and raised £2,700.
“This year, I have raised £1,015 up to now, but the total is still rising at the moment; this money goes towards research into the condition and also to help support the families and sufferers.
“I couldn’t raise this amount without the generosity of family, friends, my colleagues at the Co-op and the people of Wooler – a great thank-you to them all.”
You can support Carol at https://www.justgiving.com/Carol-Johnson11/