Ice bucket challenge in family memory

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An Eastwood shop owner braved the charity ice bucket challenge in public this week in memory of a family member.

Lovestationary owner Mike Heavey had iced water poured over his head in the courtyard of The Eastwood Craft Workshops to raise money for The Motor Neurone Disease Association.

His son-in-law’s mother Pam Gibbs, who lived in Nuthall, lost her battle with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in 2001 aged XXX - just 18 months after her diagnosis.

Mike explained that although his daughter Amy and her son Rob had not been dating for long, it was very difficult to watch Pam deteriorate from her normal self.

He told the Advertiser: “She was just such a bubbly person and very friendly, and she became a mind in a shell.

“She started off with problems swallowing, then she couldn’t speak, couldn’t eat and then her mobility went.”

As the disease progressed, Pam used a machine to communicate but she soon lost the use of her arms too.

He added: “The most difficult part is that the person you know is still inside that body, it is not that they are not aware of what is happening.”

Mike decided to do the challenge in Pam’s memory so the challenge took place on the anniversary of her death, September 11.

After a bucket of water and ice was tipped over Mike, he picked up an ice cube, put it in a glass of whiskey and toasted Pam.

The 59-year-old of Tewkesbury Drive, Kimberley said that the water had been freezing cold but he was pleased to be raising money and awarenes for MND.

He added; “It is just a shock and it really takes your breath away.”

Several neighbours and friends turned out to see the challenge and Mayor of Eastwood, Ken Woodhead, also made a guest appearance.

So far the global Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than £6m for the charity which will go towards researching cures for MND and supporting those who suffer from the crippling disease.

Donate by visiting www.mndassociation.org or text ICED55 plus the amount you would like to donate.