AFC Rushden & Diamonds takes pride in the Community Focus within the club. From time to time this focus becomes even more crucial as it embraces issues close to home.
Sam Fitzgerald had played almost 20 games for the Diamonds U14 side when he first began showing symptoms of a disease, now known to be Wilson’s disease, although the formal diagnosis only came later. The illness has left him disabled and confined to a wheelchair.
Wilson’s Disease is a rare genetic disorder that is fatal unless detected and treated before serious illness develops from copper poisoning. Wilson’s Disease affects about one in thirty thousand people worldwide. More details on this disorder are here.
Tracy Stephen, fundraiser for the Youth Section of our club, has created a YouTube video to tell Sam’s story, and to highlight why that section of the club is focussing efforts on fundraising in appropriate areas. You can find that video here – you will understand the motivation behind organising events such as the “Man In The Mirror” event detailed below, and why getting as many people as possible to attend is so important.
The AFC Rushden & Diamonds Community section will be focussing on helping raise awareness of the disease during the forthcoming two seasons, and they will staging a number of fundraising events – the first of these is the “Man in the Mirror” event on Friday 16th September – details here. They will have two aims within the next two seasons, firstly to raise £500 per season to be donated to the Wilson’s Support Group, helping them continue to offer support to those with the illness and their families, and secondly to increase the number of people who are aware of the signs and symptoms of this rare condition. There is a fundraising page set up at https://www.goldengiving.com/fundraising/wilsonsdiseasedonations.
Community Volunteer Mark Cullen has written an insight into Sam’s time with the U14 Cosmos side, and his subsequent battle with the disease – you can read Mark’s personal insight here.
If anybody would like to make a contribution to the fundraising campaign that the AFC Rushden & Diamonds Community Section are running, please visit this link.