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Ulverston parents both battling terminal illnesses
A FURNESS family is facing an uncertain future as both parents battle terminal illness.
The Coulstons, of Birkrigg Park, Ulverston, were dealt a devast-ating blow when dad Paul was recently diagnosed with motor neurone disease, a progressive illness that attacks the nerves, brain, and spinal cord, gradually leading to weakness and wasting.
The news comes just three years after his wife, Clare, 36, a police sergeant, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. She was told, at the time, she only had a 30 per cent chance of living five years.
Their young children Finlay, six, and Evelyn, four, know their dad is poorly, and will not be getting better.
But the couple are doing all they can to remain positive for their children, and ensure they have a happy childhood. This week they thanked people who have rallied round to support them.
Family and friends, including close friend Adele Dean and Mrs Coulston’s mum, Sue Hudson, organised a fundraising night at The Nines Club, in Barrow. It raised around £4,000 to help the family deal with their life-changing news.
“We wanted to go on one last family holiday while Paul is still fit, and also we have got to adapt the house because of Paul’s illness. This money will go a long way towards helping, and we are over the moon about that,” said Mrs Coulston.
Her last scan showed no signs of cancer remaining but, as it was already in her lymph nodes, there is no guarantee that it will not return.
“I just have to keep a positive mental attitude that it will not come back,” she said.
“After Paul’s diagnosis I am even more determined that I will be here for my children.
“We found out about Paul in April and we are only just coming to terms with it. There is no hope for him. It is horrible.
“My husband wants to raise awareness of the disease. He has gone back to work (as deputy headteacher of St George’s Primary School, in Barrow) and will work for as long as he is physically well enough to do so.”
Friends and family have also set up a website where people can help the couple, and their children, cope with the reperc-ussions of Mr Coulston’s illness.
Mrs Hudson said: “So many people have wanted to help, even those from abroad have been in contact asking: ‘How can we donate money to the family?’, so we have set up a website which we hope people will support.”
For more information visit www.coulstonfundraising.co.uk