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Skydive in memory of Clarets fan Ashley

By Jon Livesey , This Is Lancashire

1553 days ago   Article ID# 494245
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Muscular Dystrophy Campaign

LANCASHIRE , U K (This Is Lancashire) - Two support workers will plunge 14,000ft in memory of an ‘inspirational’ Clarets fan who lost his lifelong battle against an incurable muscle wasting disease.

Karen Rowley, 29, and Jenny Sedgwick, 34, who helped Burnley fanatic Ashley Kirkham, 27, cope with the difficulties caused by Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, are preparing to undertake the skydive challenge in Cockerham, near Lancaster on Saturday.

Before his death in February, Ashley, campaigned to raise awareness about the condition, which affects one in 3,500 boys in the UK.

All the money raised by the pair will go towards the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign charity.

Ashley, a former pupil at Calder View Special School, grew up living with his family on the Stoops and Griffin estates, Burnley.

But by the age of 12 he relied on a wheelchair after the condition, which causes muscles in the legs to weaken, led to mobility problems.

Eight years ago he moved to St Annes with friends he met at Beaumont Specialist College, Lancaster.

Karen and Jenny, who work for Guardian Homecare, used to visit him at home.

Jenny, who worked with him for two years, said: “Ashley was such a brave young man and he taught me so much. He was very adamant about what he wanted in life and had an ability to make people want to fight for him, and what he believed were his rights.

“But he was such a funny guy as well, with a great sense of humour and could cheer anybody up.”

One of the pair, who both admitted to having been converted to the claret and blue by Ashley, will don a Burnley shirt for the skydive.

Karen said: “I’m a bit scared, but I’m looking forward to the adrenaline rush.

“The support we’ve received from family and friends has been brilliant and it should be a good day.”

Margaret, Ashley’s sister, praised the pair for their fundraising efforts.

She said: “They are two of the kindest people you could meet, who when Ashley was really ill in hospital, went above and beyond the call of duty for him and I know he was greatful for that, as am I and the rest of our family.”

To sponsor Jenny and Karen go to www.justgiving.com/KarenRowley-JennySedgwick.

Copyright 2014 This Is Lancashire   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1553 days ago   Article ID# 494245

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