Sheffield mum’s brave battle to live

Julie Drakeley with members of the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Service Improvement team, who are running the Yorkshire Half Marathon in Sheffield in her honour
Julie Drakeley with members of the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Service Improvement team, who are running the Yorkshire Half Marathon in Sheffield in her honour
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An inspirational mum battling Motor Neurone Disease is determined for life to carry on as normal for as long as possible.

Julie Drakeley has been left paralysed from the neck down by the devastating condition, which attacks the nerves in the brain and spinal cord.

But the 49-year-old is getting on with her job at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and has vowed to stick around for as long as she can for her 17-year-old son, Russ.

Julie, of Brincliffe, Sheffield, said: “Russ was 14 when I was diagnosed but I didn’t tell him for a year and a half - I just couldn’t find a way.

“In the end I told him bit by bit. It’s just the two of us, I’m a single mum, so it’s been hard. We are incredibly close, it has been tough for him and it continues to be tough. He is a teenager going through all the stuff teenagers go through and he has a mum who can’t move.”

Julie was diagnosed with MND after she began getting aches in her arms and having trouble gripping.

There is no cure but with the help of a carer and voice recognition technology, she is still working two days a week in her job of 13 years with the hospitals’ Service Improvement Team.

“My colleagues have been great. Staying at work has prolonged my life, I am sure. It’s one of my reasons - apart from my son - for getting up and carrying on every day.

“My hopes are to be around for my son for as long as possible. I made a promise that I wouldn’t leave him until he has gone onto university.”

n Russ and eight of Julie’s colleagues are running the Yorkshire Half Marathon for the MND Association. Sponsor them at www.justgiving.com/STHserviceimprovement or email southyorksmnda@gmail.com to join the team.