Friends rally for terminally ill Letchworth sisters
PUBLISHED: 13:12 16 June 2011
A FRIEND of two terminally ill sisters is organising a community fundraiser so the family can share some “happy times together”.
Parent Lynzie Marshall decided to hold a charity disco night after visiting 12-year-old Sarah and 16-year-old Emily Bushaway, who both suffer from rare genetic disorder Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC), at their Letchworth GC home.
Emily was diagnosed with the fatal condition, which causes structural and functional damage in cells and tissues, when she was six-years-old, while her sister Sarah was diagnosed aged 12.
Lynzie, whose daughter Lauren went to primary school with Sarah, has already raised funds for a walking frame for Emily around five years ago, so this time wanted to do something to help the whole family, including parents Lisa and Mark and their son Harry.
“It was just heart-breaking to see as one of them is the same age as my daughter - I just wanted to do something to help,” said Lynzie, of Swanstand in the town.
“They (Lisa and Mark) have no life apart from caring for their girls so I want to raise enough money to give them some happy times together.”
Lynzie said everyone has been very supportive of her efforts with friend Trevor Sostacenko printing tickets for the event and arranging the booking of Jackmans Community Centre as the venue.
Nearly all the tickets for the July 1 disco, which will see a local Elvis impersonator perform, have now been sold, although Lynzie is still asking for donations to go in a raffle.
“The Jackmans estate gets a bad name but everyone in the area has been so supportive when I’ve told them about it,” said the 36-year-old.
“It’s going to bring this community back together again. This is the second time I’ve done something like this and people always come together and want to help out.”
Sarah and Emily’s parents, Lisa and Mark Bushaway, told The Comet about their situation and how they were “totally overwhelmed” with Lynzie’s proposal.
The Letchworth GC couple said: “We still find it so very hard to believe that two of our three beautiful children, Emily and Sarah have this devastating illness.
“As a family, we have been through more than some can imagine - the heartache of having to watch our girls losing their abilities they’d grown up to learn, the pain we’re all feeling for one another and how proud we are seeing our son Harry cope. But we’ve kept ourselves fairly private dealing with NPC over the past 10 years.
“So you can imagine how totally overwhelmed we were when Lynzie approached us asking to help make some happy memories for our family. How could we not share our girls with some wonderful people that want to help them.
“We are truly grateful to Trevor, Lynzie and all those involved in taking the time and caring to help us give our girls the support they may need and some lovely memories.”
Inspired by Lynzie’s efforts, next door neighbour Jenny Mahoney will also be raising funds for the cause by completeting a 27-mile sponsored bike ride by cycling around the Letchworth Greenway twice.
Jenny will be taking on the challenge alongside her sister Debra Turner and her daughter Chloe.
To make a donation for either fundraiser call Lynzie Marshall on 01462 615495.