A Riverside fundraiser bags £600 for MS research

MP Andrew Selous at an MS fundraiser organised by Sharon O'Neill
MP Andrew Selous at an MS fundraiser organised by Sharon O'Neill

A Riverside mum who’s suffered from multiple sclerosis for more than 20 years is celebrating after a cake bake she held at home raised more than £600 for research.

Sharon O’Neill, 57, is one of four women in the same road suffering from the progressive neurological condition. Her brother-in-law, Andy Miller, died from MS when he was only 32, but Sharon believes it’s only coincidence that links the cluster of cases in her area.

The mother-of-four is convinced she suffered from MS many years before it was officially diagnosed. And she thinks it may also have been behind her decision to give up the job she loved as a British Transport Police woman.

“I couldn’t cope,” she confessed. “I had post traumatic stress disorder after the Kings Cross fire and I blamed it all on my husband – but he was having problems as well.

“Usually I’m a fighter, I’m strong mentally. But I’ve got four kids with special needs and I don’t want to let them down. They can’t comprehend what’s wrong with me because I don’t look ill.

“So I laugh and smile, otherwise I’d break down and cry.”
She added: “Deep down you have all these concerns. My greatest fear is being in a wheelchair.”

Sharon’s always been a good organiser and she was delighted with the success of the cake bake.

She said: “There were various stalls and people streamed in all day. The kettle was on constantly and sometimes it was hard to keep up.

“MP Andrew Selous came along to offer support, as did Leighton Buzzard MS Society chairman Ian Summerfield, whose wife Karen has MS.

“There’s been lots of positive feedback and I’m going to do it all again next year.”