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Carolyn’s party for brave Harleston friend ill with MSA

08:00 07 May 2014

Carolyn Passey is throwing a pamper evening to raise money for Harleston resident Helen Hughes who suffers from MSA?

Carolyn Passey is throwing a pamper evening to raise money for Harleston resident Helen Hughes who suffers from MSA?

Archant norfolk

When Carolyn Passey bumped into Helen Hughes in Harleston and discovered she was terminally ill with a rare degenerative neurological condition, she was humbled by what her long-standing friend was going through.

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Carolyn Passey is throwing a pamper evening to raise money for Harleston resident Helen Hughes who suffers from MSA?Carolyn Passey is throwing a pamper evening to raise money for Harleston resident Helen Hughes who suffers from MSA?

A wheelchair-bound Mrs Hughes described how she was losing all her mobility after being diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) in May 2012.

It is a condition that makes sufferers feel like they are trapped in their own bodies – but despite being shocked by what had happened, only one question was on Mrs Passey’s mind: ‘What can I do that Helen would like?’

So having set up her own beauty company, she has organised a pamper and social fund-raising evening in honour of her friend of more than 20 years.

The event, at Chameleon House, Redenhall Road, Harleston from 7.30pm to 9pm today, will also raise money for the MSA Trust to help pay for research into a condition for which there is currently no cure.

“I hadn’t seen Helen for a few months when I recognised her voice in the street,” Mrs Passey explained.

“When I turned round, there was this woman in a wheelchair. I was shocked. We went round to her house and had a chat and went through things. Then I just thought to myself: ‘What can I do that Helen would like?’

“Helen has always looked after herself and taken pride in how she looks. I thought that she deserves a bit of a social occasion so rather than just do a pamper night, I thought: ‘Let’s do a party night for her.’

“I was devastated when I heard Helen’s sad news and wanted to support Helen and her children’s mission to raise awareness for this life-crippling disease.

“Helen will be joining us on the night and we hope that her seeing her friends, enjoying pampering and having fun will give her and the family some light for a few hours.”

Mrs Passey thanked everyone who had supported the event so far and particularly Ginni Ashken, who has helped with organising the evening. Harleston’s Cafe No. 5, where Mrs Hughes used to work, has already held an awareness month this year.

Tickets cost £5. Call Mrs Passey on 07767 648885, email carolyn.passey@handbcompany.com or visit the Sue Read Shoe Shop in Harleston.

Are you organising a charity event? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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