Preston Man to Fundraise Throughout 2020 in Memory of Partner Who Lost her Life to Motor Neurone Disease

Chris Duddy and Keli

A maintenance manager from Preston is raising money for Royal Preston Hospital’s Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Treatment & Research Centre by completing a skydive and holding various fundraising events throughout 2020.

MND is a rare and progressive neurological condition that attacks the motor neurones in the brain and spinal cord, causing the associated muscles to waste away. The condition is nearly always fatal and can significantly shorten life expectancy, and there is currently no cure.

Chris Duddy, who lost his girlfriend Keli to MND in September of 2019, wants to give something back to the team who treated Keli by holding various fundraising events throughout 2020.

Keli, who was just 44 when she died, was diagnosed with MND at the beginning of 2018. After a consultation with the team at the Lancashire & South Cumbria MND Care & Research Centre, Keli was told she had 18 months to two years to live.

Chris said: “All the way from the day we found out about Keli’s MND and still now, the support from the MND team has been the most amazing anyone could wish for, which is why I am going to face my greatest fear – heights – by skydiving and trying to help raise money in any way I can.”

As well as the skydive, which is scheduled for March, Chris and his family are planning a series of raffles, a January race night, a family fun day in spring and an auction of sports memorabilia.

The MND Treatment & Research Centre at the Royal Preston Hospital treats patients from the Preston area and those throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria. It is one of the seven UK centres that it is part of ENCALS, a European network of research centres that is working for a cure of ALS, a form of MND.

Prof Suresh Chhetri, Consultant Neurologist at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:  “Experts from top MND research centres across Europe have teamed up with patient organisations, fundraisers and pharma companies in an aim to find a cure for MND. It is a very ambitious aim but by collaborating together we can work more efficiently and effectively to find a cure for MND. We want to leave no stones unturned to provide the best possible care for our patients and their families.”

Monitoring equipment funded by donation is used by the MND team so that patients can be assessed in their own homes. The team also uses specialist aids, which are funded by donations only.

Donations to the centre are managed by the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity. It funds projects to improve patient care, treatment and experience that are beyond limited NHS resources.

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides district general hospital services to a local community of 390,000, and specialist services to 1.5m across Lancashire and South Cumbria.  Services are provided from Royal Preston Hospital, Chorley and South Ribble Hospital and the Specialist Mobility and Rehabilitation Centre, as well as a wide range of services in community settings and at other hospitals in the region.

Chris plans to post regular updates on his events calendar on his Facebook and Just Giving pages. You can visit Chris’ Just Giving page here: