Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Band rocks out to help ill mum (w/ #MND) speak through eye gaze technology


Musical fundraiser: Angela Fung with husband Daniel

Stan Granite: MP Rob Wilson with (l-r) Greg Eaton, Colin Stewart, Mike Ryan and Anthony Giblin

A ROCK band is drumming up support for a mum-of-four with an incurable debilitating disease who wants to raise up to £6,000 for a revolutionary machine to communicate with her family.
Stan Granite will perform next month in aid of Angela Fung, who has motor neurone disease and left her teaching job at St Anne's Primary School, Caversham, in January with the illness getting progressively worse.
The disease damages the nervous system and attacked her vocal chords and has left Angela, 53, in a wheelchair.
Her family is trying to raise money for a high-tech computer - allowing her to type using her eyes and converting the written words into speech.
Angela wrote: "I cannot do anything for myself, I have to be hoisted, fed and cleaned.
"My speech has deteriorated so much that even my husband and my sons don't undertsand me any more.
"That is why this 'Eye Gaze' machine it so important to me, it is giving me the chance to be a mum again, a wife again and a friend."
Husband Daniel, who quit work as a telecommunications engineer to care for her full time, added: "It will help her a lot, it's becoming harder to understand what she is saying.
"She will be able to email, use Facebook and Skype and communicate with friends and relatives."
The NHS has agreed to fund half the £12,000 cost, with the Motor Neurone Disease Association hoping to help the couple by paying part of the remainder. But Angela and Daniel also have everyday costs to meet because their application for continuing healthcare was rejected by the NHS earlier this year.
The couple, who live with their four children aged 15 to 24 in Caversham Park were ruled out because of their £26,000 savings, but are paying out more than £800 a month on benefits of around £500.
Daniel added: "It is very inflexible, the money we saved was for our future and it will run out. We have been using our savings for the last two or three years and also have our children to support."
Reading's Stan Granite, who play rock covers, has organised a Rockin' for Angela concert on Saturday, December 15, at St Anne's School Hall.
It is made up of accountant Greg Eaton, business consultant Colin Stewart, scientist Anthony Gibli and Pack and Send UK chief executive Mike Ryan, who will be joined by the Mordecai Smyth Players.
Reading East MP Rob Wilson, a critic of the NHS funding decision, joined the band at rehearsals at last week.
Tickets at £10, and £5 for children, are available from the school, Pack and Send or by emailing rockinforangela@packsend.co.uk

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