My daughter Jessica was so buoyed up by caring friends and our company staff after her painful spinal operation last winter, she set up a fund-raising page. She asked people to donate just a pound, or whatever they could spare.
Jessica, who is 14, has limb girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD2D), a muscle-wasting condition which causes muscles to weaken and waste over time, leading to increasingly severe disability. She was diagnosed aged 10, after a teacher noticed she couldn’t get up from the floor.
A visit to the local GP led to seeing a neurologist. Many tests later we were given the LGMD2D diagnosis. As our whole world changed, so did our priorities. We immediately contacted Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK) and began to hold charity events to fund research, because there is no cure. Now, people from all over the world support Jessica through her Facebook page, Jessie’s Angels, and we are surrounded by supportive friends. Twenty years ago though, when my husband Tim and I moved ‘up country’ from the south, we faced real difficulties.
We arrived in Coalville and, following the birth of our second child, Tim was made redundant. With just £50 left in the bank, we decided to take hold of our destiny, and set up a cleaning company.
At that time, we passed a Jobcentre every day. The queue outside was always so long and I said, ‘wouldn’t it be great to be the ones to help reduce that line’. That’s when MCS Cleaning & Main was born. A friend of mine who worked at the Jobcentre got me involved with the work experience scheme, where we would get people into our offices for an interview and get them working in all departments. There were all kinds of people. Some with a disability and some just stuck in ‘not finding a job’.
Most of these people still work for us today. As employers, we believe that if you look after your staff, your staff will look after you. Each one is a name and a face to us, not a number. They are all so committed, as they feel they have something to prove. And - that Jobcentre queue has completely gone!
We told our staff as soon as we knew about Jessica’s condition. They all wanted to help fundraise to find a cure. They have done everything from skydives to bake sales, and Tim and I are constantly overwhelmed by their kindness.
During Jessica’s recent major spinal operation, they took care of the business while we took care of Jess. This February, everyone has donated to Go bright for the fight, raising another £670 to show their support and commitment to finding a cure for our little girl.
We can strongly say we are so thankful to everyone for their continued support. We look forward to the future and will continue to fundraise to help fund a cure!