As one of the longest established independent networking in groups in Lichfield. Business 1st raises money for local charities each year at its annual networking awards evening. So far this year, the group has raised £400 for myaware, which supports people and families suffering with myasthenia.
Not that widely known about, the condition came to the attention of the group when the spouse of a Business 1st member was diagnosed with it a few years ago. The disease is said to affect over 10,000 people in the UK, and there are approximately 97 people in Staffordshire and 269 in the West Midlands who are suffering with myasthenia, although there may be more people who have unfortunately been misdiagnosed or not known by the charity. There is currently no cure, so once diagnosed, people have it for life.
As an auto-immune disease, myasthenia gravis is characterized by fluctuating muscle weakness, where antibodies in the body's immune system attack and damage the nerve signal receptors on the muscles - causing a breakdown in communication which affects how well muscles can move. The condition often affects talking, swallowing and breathing and can be fatal if left untreated. It can affect anyone of any age, at any time. It is thought that both Sir Lawrence Olivier and Aristotle Onassis both suffered from this disease.
To collect the £400 cheque on behalf of myaware, Regional Organiser for the Midlands, Sarah Hindley attended a recent Business 1st meeting, and took time to brief the group about the vital services offered by the charity which include raising awareness and funding research.
Sarah says: “We are very grateful to Business 1st for their efforts. We receive no Government funding but need £3,000 a day to run our services and so every penny counts to continue supporting families living with myasthenia, particularly in this, our 40th Anniversary Year.”
Business 1st changes its designated charity every year, with over £500 donated to St Giles Hospice and Guide Dogs for the Blind in 2015, and a donation to the We Love Lichfield Fund in 2014.
Current Chair of Business 1st, Alison Taylor says: “We’re delighted to be able to help raise money for good causes, and will be keeping in touch with Sarah regarding any other ways we might be able to help.”
Photograph attached of:
Matt Hales (Treasurer of Business 1st), Sarah Hindley (Regional Organiser for the Midlands) and Alison Taylor (Chair of Business 1st).
Member since: 10th July 2012
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