Sick mum is inspiration
Andrew Gibson • Published 2 Feb 2012 10:00
SWIMMING with sharks, bungee jumping, and climbing the tallest mountain in Britain are just a few things on a charity fundraiser's to do list for 2012.
Stacey Brown is setting herself a crazy challenge every month to raise awareness of a disease which has plagued her friend.
The 24-year-old, who is in the British Army, has seen brave pal Charlene Johnstone struggle in recent years as she battles gastroparesis.
The condition paralyses the stomach, leaving sufferers unable to digest food.
Charlene, from Knightswood, first contracted the disease three years ago when she was pregnant with her now three-year-old healthy son Hayden.
The 24-year-old had to have a gastric pacemaker placed inside her stomach to help her digest food.
However the disease spread to more of Charlene's organs and she now has to get the body's essential nutrients from a tube through her nose instead of eating food.
Stacey spoke to the Post about her courageous friend and her incredible list of challenges to raise awareness of Patients of Intravenous and Nasogastric Nutrition Therapy (PINNT) - a charity which works to help those who suffer from diseases like Charlene's.
Stacey said: "I've sat with her over the last few years and watched her deteriorate.
"No-one has heard of the disease but there are quite a few people suffering from it.
"Over 2012 I'm going to raise awareness and see how much money I can collect from what I am doing.
"The biggest event I'm hoping to do is the West Highland Way and I'll climb Ben Nevis at the end of it.
"Ninety-five miles in four days and climb the mountain at the end of it - I'd say that is the toughest one.
"Last month I did a bungee jump and after swimming with sharks in a place in Fife in February I will skydive."
While fundraising for the charity is a big part of her campaign, Stacey is more determined to raise awareness.
She added: "While we are tucking into fish and chips Charlene has fluid being pumped into her.
"She will never process food again.
"She's probably one of the bravest people I know - she's an inspiration."
Stacey will also run a half marathon and is currently organising more crazy challenges for 2012.
From a hospital bed, a grateful Charlene emailed the Post.
She said: "I'm so proud of Stacey and very touched that she is doing this for me and everyone in my position."
If you would like to donate to Stacey's cause, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com and enter 'Stacey Brown' into the search facility.
This article appeared in Clydebank Post 01 Feb 12