Sufferer speaks out about disease

Keith Swankie, who suffers from PSP with wife Sheelagh.

Keith Swankie, who suffers from PSP with wife Sheelagh.

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Friends and family of an Arbroath man suffering from a rare disease are rallying around to help raise more awareness of the condition.

Keith Swankie (42) was last year diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a degenerative condition caused by the progressive death of nerve cells in the brain.

It can affect balance and mobility as well as speech and swallowing and as there is no cure, limits life expectancy.

Recently Keith, along with his wife Sheelagh and daughters Nikki (19) and Jordan (15), spoke out about his condition, making a special video for the PSP Association website.

And ever since he has been flooded with support from people wanting to raise both money and awareness of the charity.

Tomorrow (Saturday) relative Jenna Swankie, will be hosting a charity zumba class at Showcase the Street from 1 p.m., in aid of the PSP Association.

And Keith is delighted with the support to make more people aware of this little known condition.

He said: “There has been a lot of support of people wanting to help and there has been over 6,500 hits on the film we did.

“Seeing the film is what inspired Jenna to organise this event that she is running tomorrow.

“Dance Mania are also holding a fund-raising event and my daughter Nikki recently did a sponsored sky dive, which raised £1,700.

“The main thing as well is to raise awareness as when I tell people I have PSP, they will say ‘what’s that’ so we want to let people know as there could be up to 10,000 suffers in the UK.”