My journey started on the 19th December 2011 after being referred for possible Carpel Tunnel treatment by my GP, as I was having pains in the wrist. The Doctor that I saw straight away said it is not Carpel Tunnel but after consultation with her colleague said that I had Motor Neurone Disease, one can imagine how I felt so close to Christmas.

In 2012 I was diagnosed with Kennedy’s Disease (alibrarylso known as Kennedy’s Syndrome) a rare form of Motor Neurone by the Neurological team at Colchester General Hospital, working in a library I straight away started my research, prior to having tests at Bart’s in London for a conclusive diagnosis. At least I would be prepared. It took about nine months to a year to get my head round how this would affect me in the future. One of the worst things was would I have to give up full time work doing the job that I love.

After seeing the film in the New Year 2015 – The Theory of Everything I felt that I should do something to raise awareness for the Motor Neurone Disease Association so I approached Essex County Council to see if they would support me in fundraising during the awareness month in June. When I received their blessing it was full steam ahead. With the brilliant support of Roger Widdecombe and the team at David Niven House, I was soon making plans for as many libraries in Essex that wished to get involved sorting out what would be needed etc.

One of the first libraries was Loughton who sent me a photograph with the banner and awareness material I was totally blown away. Then the ideas started to come in from other libraries, quiz nights; indoor fetes and everything that goes with that; on your bike sessions; town trails; filling cars with balloons and the inevitable cake stall. I learnt one thing libraries love cake and judging by Loughton’s bake in that was defiantly true, what a mouth-watering array.

To date we have raised in excess of £3,000 and I know there are still some libraries busy with late events and still counting the money. Hopefully we can add another £3,000 to that when everything has happened.

One lasting memory will be the fun that libraries and their communities have had and another that a colleague who I worked with on an “impossible to google” quiz sadly passed away before he knew what the final total was. You were a great guy Bamber!!


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