Boy finds way to say: ‘Grandad I love you’

Cohen Harris (8) is doing a sponsored silence for the Motor Neurone Disease Association after his grandad was diagnosed with the disease. ANL-150506-093220001
Cohen Harris (8) is doing a sponsored silence for the Motor Neurone Disease Association after his grandad was diagnosed with the disease. ANL-150506-093220001

Silence will be golden for an eight-year-old Spalding boy who is raising funds for a charity that helps people like his grandad.

Cohen Harris used to enjoy fun times being flung about by Mick Smith (65).

Mick Smith has lost the ability to communicate or move since being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. ANL-150506-093837001

Mick Smith has lost the ability to communicate or move since being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. ANL-150506-093837001

But in six months he has watched his grandad losing the ability to move or speak after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease – and it is breaking his heart.

Mum Hannah Harris, of Horse Fayre Fields, said: “Dad was diagnosed in late January.

“His speech began slurring as if he was drunk so we took him to the doctors.

“It’s hard to believe that at Christmas he was walking about and that in such a short time he is unable to move or talk.

“If people have seen The Theory of Everything – the film about Stephen Hawking’s battle with the disease – they will understand a little about what we are going through.

“But it has affected dad much worse – he can’t use a lightwriter or his eyes to communicate.

“Teachers told us that Cohen was getting upset at school because he couldn’t do anything to help.

“Then we found out about the charity Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) and the Silence Speaks fundraiser.”

On his Justgiving page, he wrote: “This year my grandad was diagnosed with motor neurones disease. I found it hard to cope with it, so I’ve decided to fundraise for him and the motor neurone charity. Just two hours of one day will be hard, but understanding what my grandad is going through will be worth it.”

Cohen is planning to hold a sponsored silence for the Motor Neurone Disease Association at Spalding Primary School, which he attends, on Tuesday June 30.

Hannah said: “As well as raising funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, we also want to raise awareness about the disease.

“Although dad is unable to communicate or move, he is of sound mind.

“People don’t have to shout in his face.

“A doctor might only come across a case like this once in a lifetime. It is still a rare disease.

“Sometimes it takes two years to diagnose - dad’s has come on very rapidly.”

The Motor Neurone Disease Association is non government funded and every penny helps a family cope.

£75 can pay for a nurse when then the disease is diagnosed and £100 can be put towards the £4,000 cost of a lightwriter.

Anyone who would like to donate to Cohen’s sponsored silence can visit www.justgiving.com/Hannah-Jo