Sheffield family raise awareness after death

Peter Dawson with his family
Peter Dawson with his family
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A Sheffield mum-of-two whose late husband’s final days were ‘like a prison’ is pushing to raise more awareness of Motor Neurone Disease.

Linda Dawson lost her 63-year-old husband Peter, a popular former bakery owner from Heeley, last week – 10 months after he was diagnosed with the condition.

Paying tribute to her husband, Linda, aged 62, said: “He was very jolly. People said he always had a smile.

“We met at a church youth club at age 14 and we have been married for 41 years.

“A lot of people knew him in Heeley – he was known as the cake and pikelet man.

“He ran a bakery, E Dawsons & Sons, that was in the family for five generations, for over 100 years.”

After selling the business, Peter opened up a bakery selling bread and sweets on Shoreham Street, which he later sold to become a bus driver.

Linda described Peter’s diagnosis in September 2014 as ‘devastating’.

She said: “Last summer, Peter was not particularly feeling unwell, but his speech went and the doctor thought he had had a minor stroke. It was absolutely devastating. He lost some of his speech, then the use of his legs, then his arms.

“But the cruellest part of it is that it doesn’t affect the mind. It’s like you’re living in a prison.”

The couple’s daughter, Amy, completed a ‘fire walk’ across hot coals to raise awareness, which Linda says is crucial.

“There’s a lot of awareness of cancer and other major illnesses. But no-one really knows why it happens or how you get Motor Neurone Disease. There are so many different forms of it.”

Peter’s funeral will be at Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium in Woodseats on Monday, August 24.