Glamorous fundraisers stripped off to raise vital funds to help a dad suffering from MS receive life-changing treatment abroad.
Seven Hartlepool women took off their kit and posed tastefully for a Calendar Girls-style calendar in the hope of raising £35k needed for dad-of-five Eric Thomson.
Mr Thomson, who has primary progressive MS – a form of MS that has no treatment in this country, hopes to undergo pioneering stem cell surgery in Mexico next year.
The surgery aims to re-establish haematopoietic function in patients whose bone marrow or immune system is damaged or defective.
The calendar has so far raised £1,000 towards the total of £9,370 on Eric’s Go Fund Me Page.
The calendar features Eric’s wife Joanne, a nurse, her colleagues, and niece Sarah Bradley among other family friends.
Photographer Ellie-Mae Attwood took the pictures back in August and five pages of the calendar are sponsored by Hartlepool taxi firm Navigation Taxis. Other businesses have also given their support through sponsorship.
Joanne said: “We did the calendar at my niece’s house and it was a scream. We were very shy at first, but that went after about ten minutes! We’re all pleased with how it’s going.”
Mr Thomson was originally given hope that he could undergo treatment at the Riaz clinic in Mexico in 2018, but that has now been brought forward to next year.
So far the page set up by family friend Angela Crowe has raised £9,370 through orgnaised events and generous donations in an effort to raise the funds by 2018 – the original date for the surgery.
But now the family have been told by the Riaz clinic in Mexico that Eric could undergo treatment next year if they are able to raise the necessary funds in time.
The former Camerons Brewery worker, of Jowitt Road, was just 44 when he was diagnosed in July 2011 and now aged 49 he has seen his whole life change as symptoms progress.
The treatment will last four to six weeks and see Eric undergo tests to ensure he is fit enough for the procedure before receiving the stem cell transplant and chemotherapy lasting two weeks. He will then need a two-week recovery period before flying home to the UK.
A fun run organised by his brother Gary Thomson was also held on October 31 along the seafront, which raised £900.
For information on charity events, visit: HSCT fundraising for Eric Thomson on Facebook. To donate, visit: http://www.gofundme.com/HSCTforEricT