Accountant pleads for help to pay for stem cell treatment for her army veteran father
A Church Crookham accountant has launched an appeal to help save her father’s life.
Jenni Kenyon is helping to raise funds to pay for life-saving stem cell treatment for her father Ian White.
Mr White, 67, served in the army for 29 years and was enjoying retirement when he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Motor Neurone Disease.
The youngest of four sons, as a boy he was county champion in judo. He joined the army aged 16 and worked his way up through the ranks to become a captain in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
Mr White represented the army in various rugby and sailing competitions, including one where he raced from Bombay to Singapore.
He met his first wife while posted in Germany and went on to have two daughters, Jenni, aged 44, and Melanie, 40, and a son, Ian junior, who is 31.
“When dad left the army he settled in Germany and eventually remarried after his relationship with our mum broke down,” said Jenni, who was born in Aldershot and runs her own business in Crookham Village, JK Accountancy & Bookkeeping.
“Petra has been his rock now for more than 15 years and has given up work to do the job of caring for him full-time to help him cope with his physical impediments and his mental well being.”
Mr White, a keen karaoke singer, now has little or no use of his arms and hands.
“During our recent visit to Germany we also noticed how his head is now stooping forwards, due to the muscles in the back of his neck beginning to deteriorate.
“His hands and arms have become very swollen due to the fluid build-up because they hang down by his side all the time,” said Jenni.
“What is happening to our dad is a tragedy. He only just retired aged 65 in November 2010 and hoped this would be the start of an era that would incorporate many new adventures for him and Petra.
“However, just a month after his retirement, he first noticed the weakness in his arm muscle and now he cannot go anywhere independently, let alone ride his beloved motorbike or go off on any active adventures.”
But the family says there is hope and that with the right treatment there is a lot of light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
“Dad needs pioneering stem cell treatment in Israel and then Switzerland, which we are raising money for,” said Jenni.
“His condition has taken away the use of his arms and we hope to slow the progression of his illness and reverse some of the damage done.”
The family has organised a comedy night at the Red Lion Hotel in Basingstoke on Saturday from 7.30pm to raise funds for the treatment. They are also selling special T-shirts.
For more details visit www.savemydad.co.uk.