Otley woman’s tribute to her mother with fundraising calendar of farming scenes

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AN OTLEY woman has produced a fundraising calendar filled with family photographs of the Yorkshire countryside that her late mother adored.

Anne Lofthouse has compiled the 2016 calendar with the help of local printers Hadfield Photocraft as a tribute to her mother Barbara and to raise awareness of the rare muscle-wasting disease from which she suffered.

The featured images are mostly of scenes captured by Miss Lofthouse on the farm at Addingham Moorside where her mother lived and worked. Proceeds from sales will be donated to the Myasthehia Gravis Association, which works to help find a cure for the condition.

Miss Lofthouse, who works at Leeds Bradford Airport, said: “My mum worked very hard all her life working on the farm and bringing four children up. She wasn’t from a farming background but soon hung up the dancing shoes for her Argylls and swapped the dancing halls for the milking parlour.”

But in 2007, Barbara began feeling weak and tired and she was eventually diagnosed with Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS). She later contracted small cell lung cancer which affects half of LEMS patients, and she died in 2010.

Her daughter, Miss Lofthouse, said she wanted more people to be aware of the disease.

“From morning till night every day was different this is why so many people are very hard to diagnose.

“Mum was usually okay in a morning and then it would start with little things like she wouldn’t be able to hold a pen, she would be very tired, her legs would go heavy and mum would say it was like walking through treacle. It was a very difficult time as my mum was such an active person and never stopped.”

The calendar is a fitting tribute.

“My mum insisted daily that we took photographs around the farm as she loved where she lived and never took it for granted,” Miss Lofthouse said.

“The calendar was put together to show people and to share what a beautiful place my mum lived in, and adored, and to raise awareness of the disease as it is probably not as rare as we think, it is just difficult to diagnose due to it fluctuating throughout the body.”

Miss Lofthouse’s 2016 calendars are priced at £6.50 and can be ordered by calling MGA on 01332 290219 or via email on info@myaware.org

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