A devoted daughter has launched a fundraising bid to help get her Elvis-mad dad to Graceland after he was diagnosed with a devastating degenerative illness.
Louise Hornby, 31, is hoping to raise £3,500 as soon as possible to take her dad Robert on the trip-of-a-lifetime to the late star’s mansion in Memphis, US.
The 55-year-old, of West Park, was diagnosed last year with progressive bulbar palsy motor neurone disease (MND) - a rare condition which leads to gradual paralysis and eventual death.
It has already robbed the dad-of-two of his ability to speak or eat and drink and doctors have said he has a maximum life expectancy of between 14 months and three years.
Louise, who has given up her job and home to care for her dad, said: “It’s heartbreaking. It’s a cruel disease. There is no cure. It’s just devastated the family.
“He’s still mentally capable. It’s just his brain is not connecting with the rest of his body. “It feel like I’m watching this disease take him away from me day by day and there’s nothing I can do.”
Louise said the family always wanted to take him to Graceland for his 60th birthday but now fear he won’t reach that date.
“He’s always been a massive Elvis fan, since I can ever remember.
“It was always on in the house and at family gatherings he would be on the dance floor. He has every LP and CD - just a massive fan. Graceland has been somewhere he always wanted to go. If I can do this one thing for him, I would be very happy. We’d like to do it while he is still has some mobility.”
Louise has also moved her wedding date forward to make sure her dad is with her on her big day.
Scrapping an already-booked date in June, she is now set to wed fiancé Christopher Douglas, 31, on April 7 at Leeds Town Hall.
“With dad’s condition progressing, I made the decision to bring it forward so I can have him there and he is physically able to walk me down the aisle. That’s my wish.”
She added: “Christopher’s aware that my dad comes first. He’s been so supportive. I couldn’t ask for a better partner.”
To donate to help Robert get to Graceland, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/louise-hornby. Any excess donations will be given to the MND Association.