A seriously-ill Bridlington-born father is appealing for help to fund a new wheelchair so he can make memories with his family as he tries to fight off two diseases.
Dad-of-two Jason Liversidge is believed to be the only known man in the world to be diagnosed with both Fabry and Motor Neurone Disease.
The 40-year-old is now unable to do many day-to-day activities, including walking unassisted.
He is hoping to raise £11,500 to fund a new 4x4 terrain hopper wheelchair which will enable him to access more places.
Jason said: “Activities people take for granted such as washing, dressing and feeding myself are becoming very hard or impossible as my hands are now virtually useless. I cannot lift my arms above my chest and I can’t lift my feet at all.
“The wheelchair is really important, it will mean that we can get out and about as a family and go to all the places that the girl’s love such as the park, the beach and the woods.”
Jason was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, the muscle wasting condition, in 2013 and was given an estimate of between two to five years left to live.
The family are hopeful of raising the cash after more than £15,000 was collected in a making memories fund for the family to go to Disneyland and Universal Studios in Florida. It was a place close to Jason’s heart after he went there with his family as a young boy.
However they got a big shock before flying out to America which meant the family got two memorable holidays from the funds.
After explaining his situation, Jason asked Virgin if it was possible for a discount on the holiday. The family could not have imagined what happened next.
Jason’s wife Liz said: “After intially saying they could only offer us five per cent discount. Someone we knew sent a letter to Richard Branson who got in touch and paid for half the holiday himself which was fantastic. He also helped us get VIP passes and do a lot of things we couldn’t have afforded to.
“The left over money meant we got to see Santa at Lapland in December to celebrate Jason’s 40th birthday.”
Jason is still appealing for males from the Bridlington/Scarborough area to help preserve his speech by creating voicebanks in a recording studio in Edinburgh with his voice slowly deteriorating.
He is currently creating memory boxes for Lilly, four, and Poppy, three, so they can remember him for years to come. He has also, with the help of Moonpig, been able to create birthday cards for the girls until their 18th birthday. He has also written a book about his life before he was diagnosed which is to be published.
“The new wheelchair will allow us to get out and make great memories with my daughters Lilly and Poppy,” said Jason. “This is really important as its unlikely that I will live to see the girls grow up and I want them to remember me.”
The family have raised around £2,500 from donations and sponsorship when Jason went on the world’s fastest and the northern hemisphere’s longest zip wire, located at Penrhyn Quarry in Snowdonia, North Wales.
The next fundraising effort is a Making Memories dinner dance at Filey Golf Club on July 29 which will raise cash for Jason’s wheelchair fund as well as the Motor Neuron Disease Association.
“The zipwire was absolutely amazing,” said Jason. “Once I set off, I was just like everybody else and felt normal again until I reached the bottom.
“Please come along to the fundraiser and support me and other people living with Motor Neurone Disease. It will be a great night, we have live entertainment, a DJ, a photographer and some great raffle prizes.”
Tickets are £27 per person (tables of eight) which includes a three-course meal and entertainment from Sammy Atkinson who has been on Stars in their Eyes and X-Factor.
Organisers are also looking for local companies to sponsor a table at £50 per table in exchange for advertising on social media leading up to the event and on the night.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or to donate to the wheelchair fund go to https://www.gofundme.com/24k8mhq4.