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Family’s plea to keep dad at home

Duane and Tracy England with their children, Josh and Sophie.

Duane and Tracy England with their children, Josh and Sophie.

A determined family is inviting everyone to join in and get drenched for a good cause as they take the ‘ice bucket challenge’ in hope of giving their dad and husband a new start.

The mass fundraiser will be held at the Queen and Castle on Sunday August 31, where all are welcome to turn up and take part in the latest charity craze.

More than 30 are already signed up to the challenge - which calls for participants to drench themselves in a bucket of ice water before donating to the Motor Neurone Disease charity (also known as ALS).

Headed by Tracy England, the day is not only about raising awareness, but looking closer to home in hope of helping her childhood sweetheart, Duane, who developed the condition last year.

The 41-year-old was diagnosed in February 2013 and the degenerative condition has left him already largely reliant on a wheelchair.

He is now in need of major changes to his family home to allow for reduced mobility and care which wife Tracy and their two children Sophie (8), and Josh (12), have been desperately trying to provide.

It is hoped that an extension, wider doorways and specialist equipment will allow him to stay with his family as his condition progresses.

Tracy, a part-time nurse at Warwick Hospital, said: “Duane needs these changes now for a better quality of life.

“We don’t know how his condition will change but this is a progressive disease, his mobility has already deteriorated.

“I just pray that it is going to be steady. It is horrendous to think that somebody who has never even taken tablets or needs a doctor can get to this.

“It is a very cruel disease and we just want to do everything we can to adapt so that Duane can stay at home and we can enjoy our family life for as long as we can.”

The pair met as teenagers and have been together ever since. They got married at St Nicholas church in 1998.

After being rejected for disability grants and even turning to television make-over shows to help save their family, a family friend put out a plea on social media.

Within just one week of the England Family Support Group being launched, tradesmen and residents showed “overwhelming support” through offers of to help.

“We are overwhelmed by the support given so far,” said Tracy. “We hope that Sunday will help get people’s attention and help raise some money.

“I will be doing the challenge with the children to get as much support as possible.”

Anyone who can help with building work, materials or support for the family’s cause can get in touch through Facebook, the KWN or on Sunday.

-Follow the challenge through the ‘England Family Support Group’ page on Facebook.

- All welcome at the Queen and Castle garden at 10.30am on Sunday to take part or support.

- Collections will be made, or text ICED55 followed by the pledged amount to 70070.

- Visit www.mndassociation.org for more details about Motor Neurones Disease

 

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