By Andy Hirst
A Huddersfield mum is taking part in a challenge to raise money for an epilepsy charity.
Kristy Sykes wants to raise money for the Epilepsy Society after her 12-year-old son, Joshua, was diagnosed with epilepsy just before lockdown in 2020.
The society, which provides research, advocacy and care, runs an annual fundraiser urging its supporters to cover 100 miles in 100 days to raise at least £100. The 100 is a significant figure because one in 100 people are living with epilepsy in the UK.
Joshua has had learning difficulties all his life, along with a kidney condition.
When he began to have epileptic episodes around Christmas 2019 Kristy and husband John at first thought they were night terrors. But she managed to film one and when she showed it to Joshua’s paediatrician he immediately referred him for tests to see if he had epilepsy.
Joshua attended Golcar Junior, Infant and Nursery School and had a seizure there which led to an ambulance being called.
MRI and other tests showed that Joshua has a collection of abnormal blood vessels on the brain known as a cavernoma which has led to calcification – or hardening – of part of the brain.
It’s thought Joshua’s learning difficulties have always been caused by this underlying epilepsy and he now attends Southgate School in Almondbury.
The family live in Longwood and Kristy is doing most of her walks in that area – around two miles a day. She’s already raised around £180 – way above the initial £100 target – but is eager to bring in as much as she possibly can for the Epilepsy Society. She began on January 1 and must complete the 100 miles by April 10.
Kristy, 38, said: “It’s all about raising awareness of epilepsy and the important work done by the Epilepsy Society so any support would be very gratefully received.
“Three people are diagnosed with epilepsy every day and a third of people with epilepsy do not have access to effective treatments.
“A £5 donation could help distribute tailored information about epilepsy. A £20 donation could ensure that someone who desperately needs to talk about their epilepsy can call the Epilepsy Society’s helpline.
“A £50 donation could help the Epilepsy Society’s world-leading research projects, leading to more accurate, personalised treatment. This is why every penny raised is so important.”
Kristy is office manager for a Golcar-based door company while John works for a corporate cleaning company.
To donate to Kristy’s fundraiser go to https://epilepsysociety.enthuse.com/pf/kristy-sykes
* Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging and copywriting. Copyright Andy Hirst.