Pensioner’s party raises charity cash

NILALM110721E2 - sheila johnson, secretary for local motor neurone disease association presented with �255 by eva henshaw, 88, who asked for donations instead of birthday gifts
NILALM110721E2 - sheila johnson, secretary for local motor neurone disease association presented with �255 by eva henshaw, 88, who asked for donations instead of birthday gifts

A PENSIONER traded presents for donations to her favourite charity when she held her 88th birthday party earlier this month.

Eva Henshaw raised £255 when she invited 30 friends and family to the Alice in Wonderland-themed celebration.

Mrs Henshaw said: “We had such a brilliant time at the party and I was so pleased that people were generous and gave money for the charity.”

Mrs Henshaw’s friend and neighbour, Sheila Johnson, 71, is secretary for the Derbyshire branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Mrs Johnson began volunteering for the charity in 2004. In 2008 her son Robert was diagnosed with the condition.

She said: “It’s a heartbreaking disease and one that not a lot of people know about.

“As people deteriorate they lose the use of their limbs and gradually the ability to speak and swallow but their mind is still completely active.

“Robert is now at the stage where a ventilator is keeping him going.

“I was heavily involved before Robert’s diagnosis but since we found out he had MND I’ve been determined more than ever to raise awareness as well as money.

“Eva has been a brilliant supporter of the charity, every Christmas she sends a money and at other times of the year and it’s always sent with a card full of kind words and verses which have been a great personal support for me.”

Robert, 46, now lives in France with his wife and four children.

Mrs Johnson said: “Robert was a lecturer at a French university before he couldn’t work any longer.

“There were lots of aids and tools we were able to get for him to help as he deteriorated and the MND Association have been a great support.”

Mrs Henshaw added: “It’s the worst disease and I hope they can find a cure one day, it’s a terribly sad condition.”