2019 will mark 10 years since my wonderful Dad, Roy Collins, passed away completely unexpectedly from acute cardiac failure at only 62 years old, whilst on holiday with my Mum. He was so selfless that they were on holiday at the time checking out wheelchair access for me to hopefully return with them soon after.
My Dad did so much for others. Those who knew him, I’m sure will agree, would say that he always put others before himself. He would drop everything to help anyone, especially his and my friends and family. He was always there for me and I miss him more than words could ever describe.
I was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at the age of 2. My Dad always supported the UK’s national charity for the condition, now called Spinal Muscular Atrophy UK, and I know it’s what he would want, for any money that I can raise, to go this worthwhile cause.
SMA is a condition most people have never heard of. It is a rare, genetic neuromuscular condition. It causes progressive muscle weakness and loss of movement due to muscle wasting (atrophy). SMA is so rare and relatively unheard of that every bit of funding is vital for the continued progress of research into an eventual cure.
I myself have experienced a massive change in the condition over my lifetime so far. I am now 35 and I walked/stood for the last time 4 years ago. I was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the same time (completely unrelated to my SMA).
I work full time as a maths teacher at Heathcote School in Chingford, London. The school are very supportive with both of my medical conditions and I love my job.
I live independently with a full time live-in carer who also comes with me to work to assist me with everything from personal care to admin tasks.
I am only where I am today because of the love and support of both my parents.
9 years ago, on the 1 year anniversary of my Dad’s passing, I did a skydive to raise money for the same cause. I managed to raise just shy of £3500. So, I may be optimistic, but I would like to try to exceed that amount this time. Every pound raised will go to a great cause, one that my Dad cared about so much.
I want to raise awareness, as well as money, for a condition and charity very close to my heart in more ways than one. So, on the 13th April 2019, I will be freefall abseiling off the Arcelormittal Orbit, the highest in the UK.
Thank you, in advance, to everyone who is supporting me with this challenge.
This is for you, Dad. xxxxxxxxxxxxx
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