Sheffield daughter’s mission to find a cure

Jo Higginbottom and her dad, Keith
Jo Higginbottom and her dad, Keith
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A daughter from Sheffield has been inspired by her dad to raise money to find a cure for a devastating condition which affects brain cells.

Jo Higginbottom, of Hillsborough, has watched her dad, Keith, go from being a perky hospital porter to somebody at constant risk of falls and other symptoms due to progressive supranuclear palsy.

PSP is a rare and progressive condition, where increasing numbers of brain cells become damaged over time. It causes problems with balance and mobility, changes in behaviour and an inability to control eye movement.

Jo, aged 26, who works for a student accommodation company, said: “I want to do anything I can to raise awareness and work towards finding a cure.

“I know it’s too late for my dad but in the future there could be a cure.”

Keith, aged 60, who lives in Nottingham, was diagnosed with PSP last year.

Jo said: “He started falling backwards and struggling to get his words out so we were really concerned.

“Then last year he was referred to the Hallamshire Hospital to see a specialist who diagnosed PSP. It’s such a rare condition and there aren’t many people who are aware of it.

“Life expectancy for my dad is five to seven years after diagnosis so we are just taking each day as it comes. He is slowly losing the ability to walk, speak and swallow.

“He is strong and I think he will fight it all the way to the end.”

Jo has signed up to run the Yorkshire Half Marathon in Sheffield to raise funds for the PSP Association.

n Sponsor her at www.justgiving.com/Jo-Higginbottom