A few years ago we lost a close friend and a mum to a rare disease which affects only 100 people in the UK each year - Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).
This is a degenerative brain disorder caused by misfolded prion proteins, which destroy brain cells. It is rapidly progressive and leads to death usually within 1 year and often much sooner. There is currently no cure but every day scientists and doctors are getting closer to finding a treatment. The Cure CJD Campaign aims to raise funds for the first use of an antibody drug developed for the treatment of patients with CJD.
Kym was a close friend to our family for 12 years. During this time, we got to know Kym and Lottie and shared many fantastic experiences with them; the most casual and spontaneous of days would often turn into the most memorable. Kym's presence was always enough to lift any mood with her smile and her laugh brightening up any room. Her generous and fun-loving nature were always characteristics to admire and aspire to.
As a daughter, I can proudly say she made the person I am today. Her positivity and enthusiastic nature taught me to appreciate any opportunity for adventure. Looking back, I can see that all the decisions she made had my best interests at heart. As it was just the two of us, we depended entirely on each other which helped me to appreciate all the things she did for me - hopefully I will be able to follow her footsteps.
Sadly, in the summer of 2012 Kym was diagnosed with CJD. Everything changed after this. After 2 months of her health rapidly deteriorating, we lost a dear friend and a mother. Although she was taken from us too early, she is still remembered by each of us in our own ways.
Four and a half years ago, the Lucas-Wood family was formed and - although the circumstances were not ideal - we gained a younger sister and new member of the family. Kym would be happy to know that a silver lining came out of all of the hurt; there is so much love and happiness in our family of six and we are ready to take on the world! (or just Tough Mudder for now...)
Cure CJD is a small charity but with anything you can give we can make a difference to what they are able to achieve. So please dig deep and help us to help them!