A neighbourhood officer from Blackburn is doing a sponsored skydive in memory of his dad who he lost to Motor Neurone Disease (MND).
Lee Riding, 27, who works for Together Housing Group, will be jumping out of a plane at 15,000 ft at Black Knights Parachute in Lancaster in December to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease Association after losing his dad Michael John Madigan to the illness.
Madigan lost his battle to MND, a progressive disease that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord, aged 60 in December 2017. He left behind his beloved wife of 44 years Janet, his children Elaina 32, Melissa 30 and Lee 27, and grandchildren, Ava 8, Harry 4 and Erin 2.
“My dad was misdiagnosed with perhiral neuropathy,” Riding said. “The neurologist assured him he wasn’t going die but as he got progressively worse it was clear there was something more going on. After months of unsuccessful treatment and rapid deterioration in health, the devastating news was given to us in March 2017 that in fact he had Motor Neurone Disease.
“He was very active, always on the go and looking after the grandchildren, so this news impacted on him very badly. As a family we looked after him. He could not walk, wash, feed himself and in the end could not breathe, he had Pneumonia as a result of MND. My dad was the true hero.
“I can honestly say this was the most devastating experience, my family and I have ever been through, watching my dad fade away each day to this horrific disease will live with me forever. MND truly shows no mercy and takes a piece of you each day. People who are diagnosed with MND need specialist treatment, round the clock care and equipment.”
Born and bred in Blackburn after his parents came over from Ireland, Madigan worked as a refuse collector for 20 years and also had experience of working on oil rigs.
“Dad was the head of our very small family. He always had the answers and guidance we needed and would do anything for us. He had many friends, always had everyone laughing, and was loyal and very family orientated,” Riding added.
“I’m doing a sky dive because my dad was by far the bravest man I ever met so I wanted to do something this big to celebrate his big personality and his brave battle, to keep his memory alive as well as raising money for a wonderful charity who supported my dad.”
Readers can sponsor Lee Riding for his charity jump by visiting: Just Giving