Families affected by MND enjoy day of fun at Gulliver’s Valley

Families affected by MND enjoy day of fun at Gulliver’s Valley

09:51 07 July in Member News

Families affected by motor neurone disease (MND) have enjoyed a fun-filled day at Gulliver’s Valley organised by an octogenarian campaigner taking on an epic charity cycle.

Brian Jackson, 80, from Sheffield, and the South Yorkshire Branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) arranged the second annual family fun day at the Rotherham theme park resort for 113 people from 17 families. These visits have been made possible after a generous donation from a supporter.

Brian and other members of the branch were able to give families living with and affected by MND a day out and take the opportunity to have fun and make memories. The event also raised awareness of MND and collected nearly £200 from other generous guests.

Gulliver’s Valley provided theme park tickets for a raffle for the MNDA, a charity focused on improving access to care, research and campaigning for people affected by motor neurone disease.

One member of the branch said: “Gulliver’s Valley was so helpful and welcoming to us, and the facilities are perfect for families with wheelchair users. It was wonderful to see the adults and children having such fun.”

Brian has been a fundraiser for the MND Association since losing his wife, Chris, to the disease in 2012.

In 2015, he wore shorts for the whole year (whatever the weather), earning the nickname “Bare Legs Brian”.  In 2017, he wore a kilt for the year and in 2019, he rode 2,019 miles despite not having been on a bike for over 50 years.

His next challenge though, may be his toughest yet. Later this year, Brian will cycle from London to Paris — a 309-mile journey in just four days.

Brian said: “After Chris passed away, I decided to give something back to the MND Association after their wonderful support to us.

“My wife died after a 16-month battle with MND, an incurable disease which affects messages to the muscles, causing them to weaken. One third of people with MND die within a year and over half within two years of diagnosis.

“Funds raised are used to improve the quality of life for those living with and affected by MND, and also for vital research into finding a cure.

“The family fun day at Gulliver’s Valley was another excellent opportunity for families affected by MND to meet and enjoy themselves at a brilliant venue.”

Andy Flowers, resort manager at Gulliver’s Valley, said: “It was a real pleasure to again welcome Brian, the South Yorkshire Branch of the MNDA and so many families for a wonderful day of fun.

“Brian’s fundraising efforts are inspiring and everyone at Gulliver’s Valley wishes him the very best of luck with his training and cycle to Paris!”

All money raised from Brian’s cycle from London to Paris will go to be people affected by Motor Neurone Disease in South Yorkshire.

For more information and to support Brian’s London to Paris cycle challenge, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/BareLegsBrian

Kieran Bridges

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