A DROITWICH woman whose life was rocked when she was diagnosed with a rare form of Multiple Sclerosis will undertake a daring skydive for the charity which helped her.
Yvonne Pettigrew, of Newland Road, will fall thousands of feet on Sunday (June 28) as part of the Multiple Sclerosis Trust’s Jump in June drive.
The 57-year-old received the life-changing diagnosis that she had Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) in May 2013. Around 3,000 people are diagnosed with MS in the UK each year and, of those, one in eight have PPMS.
Yvonne said she remembered being in shock for at least the first year but now, two years on, she felt more ‘emotionally robust’ and she is hoping her free-falling feat at 120mph will raise more than £5,000 for her chosen cause. Yvonne has already smashed this total but she is still hoping to push for more.
Her original target was £1,000 but she beat that within the first week of her fund-raising.
Yvonne said the MS Trust provided her and Hugh, her husband of 21 years, with much needed information and support in the early days of her diagnosis and the charity still kept them up to date on research now.
She added although there was currently no disease modifying treatment there was lots of hope for that to change in the future.
“I had no idea about PPMS until I was diagnosed so it’s likely many of people would not have heard about it either,” Yvonne said.
She added: “You may look at me and see none of my symptoms, and long may that be the case.
“I try hard to be active and able and minimise the effect on our life.
“As with many other people with MS however my symptoms vary from day to day, which makes it rather unpredictable and can take some getting used to.”
Yvonne said PPMS could cause sensory changes such as vibration and temperature distortions, a stiffness in the legs causing mobility problems such as tripping or loss of balance and bladder and bowel problems.
She added fatigue was another feature which was not a normal tiredness but an exhaustion totally out of proportion that completely stopped her in her tracks.
Yvonne said her family and friends had been really supportive although her mum had told her she was gong to hold her breath until she landed on the day.
She added she would like to thank her husband for being a huge support and some of her friends who had been really supportive and helped her raise a lot of the money.
And she said people had also been organising other events, including sweep stakes and cake sales.
Visit www.justgiving.com/Yvonne-Pettigrew to sponsor Yvonne and support her cause.