Over 20 years on – Chepstow mum is still helping charity
3:10pm Saturday 16th February 2013 in News
A CHEPSTOW mum is doing a charity zip slide, more than 20 years after her first fundraiser for the same charity.
Louise Pavia, 33, will be dangling 50m high above the River Usk on March 3 as she embarks on the challenge for the Myasthenia Gravis Association at the Newport Transporter Bridge.
As a child, she was shocked when her grandad, Walter Purser, could no longer walk the family dog after being struck down by the disease, which at the time was mystifying doctors.
Mr Purser’s debilitating condition began when he had difficulty holding his head up, but put it down to the effects of painting the ceiling.
He then began having problems breathing and was admitted to hospital.
Touched by his ailing health, 11-year-old Louise decided to swim 200 lengths for the association, raising £840.
The auto-immune neuromuscular disease leads to muscle weakness and fragility, often leaves sufferers struggling to get out of bed.
Mr Purser was robbed of his mobility, could no longer go on holidays to his beloved Africa or drive and the disease even left him in a coma.
Mrs Pavia, chairwoman of the charity’s South Wales branch, has run the Bristol Half Marathon and even asked guests at her wedding to Paul, 32, donate £500 to the charity.
The mum to Maddie, two and Bertie, five months, said: “It’s a disease that is not very well known about and it can be very destructive. It changed my grandad he wasn’t able to do what he enjoyed.
“We had a dog and he used to go on walks two or three times a day with grandad and then they couldn’t go anymore. I remember that being such a big thing as a child because he couldn’t get out and about.”
Mrs Pavia’s late grandma Winnie, Mr Purser’s wife, used to make jam, marmalade and wedding cakes to fundraise and her sister has helped at the South Wales branch.
Mrs Pavia collected funds for the charity in Tesco, Chepstow, last Thursday.
● Participants can raise money for the Myasthenia Gravis Association or ABF The Soldiers’ Charity in the March 3 event.
Registration is £20 and a minimum of £100 must be donated. E-mail ZipNewport@mail.com for more details.