A FORMER British dance champion is raising awareness after being diagnosed with an incurable disease that has left her wheelchair bound.
Isabelle Latham won the British senior tap championship when she was 16.
Now the 57-year-old is confined to a wheelchair after being diagnosed with multiple system astrophy (MSA).
The rare degenerative disease only around 3,000 people in the UK, and results in people being “locked” in their own body.
Grandmother-of-five Isabelle is determined to highlight the condition, which affects the nerve cells and has caused her to lose coordination, balance, and strength.
Her daughter, Catherine Herron, 32, of Silksworth, said her mum, who now lives in Beckwith Mews sheltered housing, has found it difficult to adjust after losing her independence, and has set her mind on spreading word of the disease which doctors don’t know much about.
“She is determined to raise awareness so she doesn’t have to explain it to people,” she said.
“My mum has found it particularly frustrating that not many people have heard of MSA.
“When she was diagnosed the doctors didn’t know that much about it.
“An during her latest spell in hospital was frustrating as she felt the nurse didn’t understand that she couldn’t move or do things herself.
“My mums dancing career began at the age of two, and she toured the world as a professional dancer. Now she will never dance again.”
Catherine, and her sister Ashley Latham, 31, of Silksworth, are arranging a fund-raising event which they hope will help their mum to share the message about MSA.
“It’s not very nice seeing this happening to her,” said Catherine.
“We want to do what we can, and my mum was keen for us to organise something.”
The sisters are organising a charity night at Lakeside Sports and Social Club, Gilleyb Law.
“We want to spread the word, and ask people to get involved if they can,” Catherine said.
“If anyone is willing to donate raffle prizes we would be really grateful.
“We are trying to raise as much money as possible.”
For more information visit the Facebook page Isabelle Latham’s MSA Fundraising Event, or call 077 5282 5241.