A north Suffolk family says it is “overwhelmed” by the outpouring of support for its charity football match taking place this weekend, held in memory of a family member who suffered with epilepsy.
The game, a contest between women from the Collins family of Rickinghall and a team of friends, which kicks off at noon on Sunday at the Eye Community Centre playing field, will pay tribute to Jason Collins, who passed away a year ago, aged 34, from a seizure, having had epilepsy for his entire life.
Organised by Jason’s parents Dawn, 53, and Charles, 57, and siblings Gerry, 27, and Lydia, 22, the event is also raising money for the Young Epilepsy charity, an organisation which provides support to people of various ages who are dealing with the condition.
Mrs Collins, a self-employed care worker, told the Diss Express: “I’m really looking forward to doing it. It’s been a difficult month, so this has given us something to focus on.
“At the moment, we are doing really well. I would like to thank everyone for their kind support.”
Kim Crispin, Mrs Collin’s sister and Jason’s aunt, added: “None of us are footballers and most playing are over 40,but the support we have had from friends and family is overwhelming, and shows how much Jason was loved, and what a wonderful community we live in.”
The family are expecting to bring in more than £1,000 between online donations and money paid through player sponsorship forms.
Mrs Collins stated it was important for more people to become better informed and educated about epilepsy, as she felt it was a condition which many still did not have a full, clear grasp of.
“A lot of people hear about epilepsy, but they don’t really know what it is. They don’t really understand that epilepsy affects all aspects of a person’s life. It’s quite an ordeal,” she said.
“There is a lot you can’t do without keeping an eye on them at all times. For example, they can’t go swimming without somebody with them. Life is quite restricted.
“I definitely think more people need to know, when someone is having a seizure, what to do and what not to do.”
She added that the Young Epilepsy charity’s co-ordinators had been in touch to say they were “really pleased” with the family’s efforts.
Proceeds towards the cause are currently being raised via Just Giving, where £351.50 has been raised, at the time of going to press.
To make a donation, please go to www.justgiving.com/Lydia-Collins2
For any additional information about the work of the Young Epilepsy charity, visit www.youngepilepsy.org.uk