So why is Dot Cotton coming down to Brighton? All in the name of charitee mate. Tomorrow’s extravaganza at Concorde 2 is all about raising money for the MS Society and my dear friend, Jennie Flynn. Jennie and I have enjoyed many nights on the town over the years and being an Irish lass, she was always up for maximum fun and the odd drink(understatement of the year). It was in 2009 that she became noticeably unsteady on her feet but we just put this down to her drinking and her love of partying. It wasn’t unusual to see Jenny fall to the floor whilst attempting some elaborate dance move and like any group of friends we just laughed it off, picked her up and carried on.

It wasn’t until later that year, as Jennie’s health started to deteriorate, that she was diagnosed with MS and suddenly it all made sense. In what was almost an overnight episode, Jenny went from fun-loving party girl, to someone restricted to her bed, losing her mobility as well as her sight. Despite this Jennie, remained positive and optimistic that something could be done but all the time, she was going downhill and her body was starting to give up the fight.

After much research and support from family and friends, it was discovered that there was a procedure in Poland that could help her. A condition called ‘chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency’ (CCSVI) has been identified as one of the principal causes of MS symptoms. It describes the compromised flow of blood in the veins draining the central nervous system. Through a simple procedure, these veins can be unblocked, significantly reducing or preventing altogether future MS symptoms.

In January, Jennie had the treatment done, with 100% blockage cleared in one vein and 70% in the other. Jennie came back a different girl; her eyesight had returned and there was a startling improvement in her mobility. I remember the joy she felt when she said she could put make-up on and do her hair in front of a mirror for the first time in months.

Since then, Jennie’s health has deteriorated again and we need to get her back to Warsaw to unblock the remaining vein and hope that this will improve her health and slow down the onslaught of MS.

My youngest brother was also diagnosed with MS back in 2002; a different type of MS to Jennie’s but just as devastating. Again, almost overnight, he lost all movement in his body and was rushed to hospital where the doctors tried to work out what was wrong with him. He was eventually diagnosed with the disease but thankfully fully recovered from the episode and although he has had a couple of episodes since, he leads a fully active lifestyle and continues to be positive about his life and what he can achieve. The shadow of MS is never to far away for him but to meet him, you’d never know.

He’s my brother and I love him but he’s also my hero and a true inspiration to me. Whenever I get pissed off with life and the shallow world of media, I look at my brother charging around the football pitch and remember the important things in life. I want to help my brother and I want to help Jennie and anyone else affected by this horrible disease.

This will cost money and this is why Dot is coming to Brighton, bless her Cotton’s.

See what I did there?

Thank you so much for your support, it means the world to me and I hope to see you down there tomorrow night x