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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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Sweet treats bring back fond memories

SWEET memories were shared at a support group for people with Motor Neurone Disease.

The Furness Motor Neurone Disease group used a sweet-shop theme to reminisce on their favourite childhood treats and offer advice on the disease at its monthly support meeting at the Barrow and District Disability Association centre in School Street on Thursday.

The reminiscence box, borrowed from Barrow library, was packed with pictures of old Barrow sweet shops, from 1918 through to the present day, and jars of boiled sweets, liquorice laces and white chocolate mice.

Margaret Sedgwick, who helps organise the meetings, runs the sessions monthly as a haven for carers, family and friends, as well as those who have the disease.

The Ulverston woman joked that she will ditch the new year’s diet after reminiscing about her childhood favourites.

She said: “My new year’s resolution is to eat more sweets now!”

The group, founded 10 years ago, aims to provide friendship and advice to anybody affected by the disease.

The average life expectancy after diagnosis of the disease, which affects the motor neurones in the spine and the brain, is three to five years.

However, Mrs Sedgwick said: “I am an oddity – I have had it for 17 years.”

As well as offering advice, the group also offers aid in the form of respite holidays and equipment from money raised at fundraising events.

Mrs Sedgwick, 47, explained that all money raised in the Furness area goes straight back to benefiting local people.

The group received £9,000 raised through the Keswick2Barrow walk and Mrs Sedgwick said: “Part of the K2B money we have used to buy a non-invasive ventilator machine for use by a local person with MND. It enables her to improve her quality of life.”

She added: “When the hospital provide her with one, ours will be used as an assessment machine for all local people with MND.”

In the past, funding has been given to fund computer equipment and assistance with house cleaning.

The group meets every second Thursday of every month at Barrow and District Disability Association at 2pm.


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