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Harleston woman does skydive for Multiple System Atrophy Trust after mum falls ill

12:50 15 August 2012

Martha Hughes, from Harleston, doing her first skydive in aid of the Multiple System Atrophy Trust. Picture by UK Parachuting

Martha Hughes, from Harleston, doing her first skydive in aid of the Multiple System Atrophy Trust. Picture by UK Parachuting

UK Parachuting

A young woman jumped out of a plane at the weekend to raise money for charity after her mum fell ill with a rare neurological disease.

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Martha Hughes, 22, from Harleston, did her first skydive from 13,000ft above Beccles airfield on Saturday, watched by admiring mum Helen, 57, who suffers from multiple system atrophy (MSA).

“It was incredible. Just amazing. And my mum came to watch, which was really nice,” said Martha, who lives in Tudor Rose Way. “I was scared but when you’re up there, you’ve just got to go for it. It was brilliant – the best bit was the freefall.”

So far, her skydive has raised more than £1,900 for the Multiple System Atrophy Trust.

MSA is a rare progressive, degenerative neurological disorder which causes symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease. Patients with MSA, however, have more widespread damage to the part of the nervous system that controls mobility, balance, speech and swallowing. There is currently no cure or treatment.

Former Hartismere High School, Eye, pupil Martha, who graduated from university this year, said: “My mum was diagnosed with this terrible disease in May. She already needs care 24/7 and relies on others, even for the simplest of tasks. This is the hardest thing to happen to me and my three sisters and the whole family have been in shock.”

Mrs Hughes, also from Harleston, first fell ill last August and was taken to hospital after a couple of falls, then woke up one morning unable to move. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in January, then MSA in May.

To add to Martha’s skydive total, visit www.justgiving.com/marthahughes.

Martha’s sister, Laura, 24, is doing a fundraising walk from her home in Norwich to Harleston in aid of the MSA Trust next month.

To support Laura’s walk, visit www.justgiving.com/laurahughes12

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