A Non Profit Charity Fundraiser For
"The Motor Neurone Disease Association" Reg Charity ( 294354 )
My Story !
My name is Steve,
I run this fundraising idea solo since June 2015 with the help of volunteers / donators who collect stamps & currencies for recycling through their place of Work, School, Religious venue etc worldwide.
All that i have known is how very active my parents were, with working all their adult life,
My mother was a nurse and father in mechanical engineering.
Mother worked night's at Withington & Wythenshawe Hospital's Manchester, While my Father worked day's at Feranti's in Wythenshawe, Manchester so that one of them would be with my sister & i unless we were at school.
When they were not working weekends we enjoyed going on day trips as a family in the Reliant Robin & later Ford Escort, all over England & North Wales with holidays either camping or static caravan.
In late seventies my parents decided to emigrate to Western Australia where mothers family was and still are living to this day, But five years later we were back in England and moved to Cheshire.
In 2006 my parents went on one of there day trips, They parked in a car park covered in shingle, As mother was walking over the car park she felt something wet on her big toe as she was wearing saddles, On looking down noticed her big toe was bleeding only to find out she was dragging her toe, this was called " Foot Drop ".
She went to the doctors who then referred her to the hospital, After one year of tests from Parkinson's Disease and others they then in September 2007 confirmed diagnosis as "Motor Neurone Disease".
Obviously by this time myself and my sister had our own life and families.
Then Came Fate !
August 2013 one of my many relationships came to an end after only one year, I wanted to get back nearer family so i moved in with my parent's until i had sorted my life out and found my own property.
My father used to work with asbestos back in the 1950's 1960's 1970's, It soon came to light when he became ill with Mesothelioma Lung Cancer, It was getting harder and harder for him to look after my mother so we did it together on the way teaching me on how to look after her as by this time she could not do much at all for herself as she only ad limited use of her left arm which is still the case though it is still getting slowly weaker.
But then on my fathers eighty second birthday in April 2014 while in hospital he passed away .
We had a family meeting with my mother, me my sister and brother in law of where we go from here, It was decided that i would become her main carer and i still am six and a half years on.
Before father passed away i did start renting a flat which i now use for respite when my sister and carer take over three times per week and two nights so i get a good rest.
I tried doing 24/7 but i just don't know how full time carers can do that, I felt myself going into depression and after changing to the above routine back in July 2019 things are so much better for everyone involved in her care.
In 22015 i wanted to give something back to the "Motor Neurone Disease Association", After a couple of bag packing session at Sainsburys i thought i would give it a go at recycling postage stamps where the name StampOutMND came from also from the logo of a foot stamping on MND.
I thought i would see how it went for a year but my fundraising idea is still to this day getting stronger with raising much needed funds for five years now.
Back in 2019 the dealer decided he was closing his company and gave me the name of another company that also apart from stamps also collected foreign coins and bank notes.
Being a full time carer is time consuming requiring 24/7 constant care, I would love to do more for my cause but i am expanding little with now from collecting stamps and currencies i also sell awareness item HERE
My Mother's Story!
I'm not frightened anymore !
16th February 2010
Leslie and Hazel Flavell were enjoying their retirement, until a diagnosis of motor neurone disease in 2006 left Hazel trapped inside her own body.
Being told you only have a few years to live is everyone's worst nightmare.
For Hazel, that nightmare became a reality four years ago and now motor neurone disease (MND) has left the once 74 year old without the use of her legs, her right arm, her speech and she can no longer swallow properly, so eating is via a peg in her stomach.
But worst of all Hazel is fully aware of this condition that little by little is taking away her life.
"When they told me i had three to five years to live i was shattered," says Hazel who communicates by pushing a stick in her left hand onto letters on a computer.
MND affects two people in 100,000 each year. It is a progressive neuro-degenerative disease that attacks the upper and lower motor neurones in the brain.
It is a terminal illness that leads to muscle weakness and wasting, causing loss of mobility in the limbs and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing.
Hazel says: "It's a very cruel disease and no two people are the same. No-one can tell you how and why you've got it either -- it's awful."
Through it all, however, it is Hazel's positive attitude and the devotion of husband Leslie, Hazel's sole carer, that is truly inspiring.
A nurse most of her life at Cranage Hall Hospital, near Holmes Chapel in Cheshire, Hazel was used to an active life style before MND stuck.
In retirement, the couple had travelled the country to offer a pet sitting service.
"The effect it can have is dramatic and devastating ," says Leslie aged 79, who married Hazel in 1959, after getting together following a night out at the Ritz dance hall in Manchester. The couple have two children, five grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
"We were in Stratford when Hazel came downstairs saying she wasn't feeling too good." Leslie recalls.
"We went out for a drive for some fresh air, but when she got out of the car and started walking we noticed her toes were bleeding, Her feet had just dropped and that was the start of it."
That was in June 2006 and by Christmas that year she was in a wheelchair.
Even so, it still took 14 months and several private consultations before a diagnosis of MND was given.
Hazel says: " The symptoms were similar to Parkinson's disease to begin with and for a long time that is what they kept saying it was."
"We ended up going private, because we didn't feel we were getting anywhere, and that's when they told us it was motor neurone disease."
Leslie says: "When we were told they said it was terminal and there was nothing they could do."
"They don't know much about the illness, but they don't think it's hereditary , which is good for us, because we have children and grandchildren to think about."
Contracting such a debilitating disease that has stripped Hazel of her independence was devastating for the couple and their family, but the physical and emotional stains of the illness were not the only things they had to come to terms with.
Leslie explains: "No-one told us of any help available or what we were entitled to, as it can be exhausting."
"We had to move from our house in Middlewich to a rented bungalow in Alsager that was more suitable for us and when we did pay for someone to come and help wash Hazel and clean the house, I wasn't happy with it. "I don't think anyone can care for her like i do."
Eventually, help did come in the form of Alsager and District Palliative Day Centre, which the couple attended at Church Lawton Memorial Hall each Tuesday.
Hazel says: "Leslie is marvellous and i don't think i would be here without him, but the day centre is a godsend for the both of us.
A lady came to see us and asked what help we had received and we told her that really we had just been left to get on with our lives.
"She said we wouldn't be left anymore and from then on we have had all the help we needed."
Looking to the future, no-one knows for definite how long Hazel has left, as the disease threatens to stop her lungs from working.
"I'm not frightened of the disease anymore, but i am scared of choking," she says, "but the thing is, you have to get busy living with it, rather than dying from it."
Hazel and Leslie keep a positive attitude about their situation.
The Sentinel Newspaper 2010 Les passed away 2014