Gran lines up cash boost for research

Oliver Bedford Gay helps his gran Ann Gay with the raffle at the charity line dancing event for Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva.

Oliver Bedford Gay helps his gran Ann Gay with the raffle at the charity line dancing event for Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva.

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A GRANDMOTHER has stepped out in style to raise more than £1,000 for research into a cure for a rare disease her grandson suffers from.

Ann Gay, 64, of Kingston Way in Whitley Bay, held a line-dancing event at Shiremoor Community Association and raised £1,200 for research into fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP).

Ann’s four-year-old grandson Oliver Bedford Gay, who lives in Manchester, suffers from the condition, also known as stone man syndrome.

It causes bone to form in muscles, tendons and ligaments, restricting movement and forming a second skeleton imprisoning the body in bone.

The money raised at the event will be shared between the research teams at Oxford University and Pennsylvania University in America.

Ann has amassed almost £4,000 since she started holding charity line-dancing events last year.

She said : “More than 100 people attended the event, and everyone enjoyed themselves.

“Nobody knows about FOP. My family did not know what it was, and when we found out about Oliver we were devastated.

“We knew that the people who carry out research into the condition needed the money, so I decided to do my line-dancing every month and a larger event twice a year.

“All my friends love line-dancing, so I thought it would be a good way to raise the funds.”

Oliver’s mum Helen, 37, and dad Chris, 35, are looking to set up a charity to raise more money.

Ann will be holding another charity event on Friday, September 7, at Shiremoor Community Association. Tickets cost £5 and are available by calling her on (0191) 252 7725.

Her monthly dances take place on the first Friday of every month at the same venue and cost £4 on the door.

Donation to the family can be made at www.friendsofoliver.com