Leeds dance for cancer charity

CHARITY: Michelle Martin and Mark Wilkinson.
CHARITY: Michelle Martin and Mark Wilkinson.
Have your say

A Leeds mum is stepping out on the dancefloor to raise money for the hospice which has helped to care for her daughter for the last 15 years.

Michelle Martin, of East Ardsley, is taking part in Strictly Get Dancing to support Martin House Hospice.

The hospice provides regular respite care for Michelle’s daughter Kayleigh who has cerebral atrophy, which has caused severe, uncontrolled epilepsy and developmental delay.

Michelle, 48, said: “Kayleigh’s condition means she can’t speak, has to be tube-fed and relies on 24-hour care from me and her carers.

“However, she can communicate, we know when she is happy or sad, what she wants and likes, and Martin House has helped us with that and 
helped her mature into a 19-year-old who has all the opportunities that we can give her.”

Martin House, which supports children and young people with life-limiting conditions from across Yorkshire, began supporting Kayleigh following the birth of Michelle’s son Jamie in 2002.

She said: “Martin House has just always been there for us and have been there for crises as well as for breaks.”

Michelle was originally due to dance with her partner Mark Wilkinson but an old knee injury has prevented him from continuing, so she’ll be taking part with new dance partner Jay Naik.

Strictly Get Dancing is an annual competition organised by Martin House, which has raised £75,000 in the last three years.

It takes place at The Engine Shed in Wetherby on Saturday, November 4.

To support Michelle and Mark’s fundraising visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michelle-martin34. For more on the charity and its work, see www.martinhouse.org.uk.