THE friends and family of a man who died of an incurable brain disease are holding a charity fundraiser in his memory.
Daniel Sands, of Battle Road, St Leonards, passed away in March last year, aged only 39, after succumbing to Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD).
Next Tuesday (March 6) would have been his 40th birthday so his family and friends decided to hold the event tomorrow (Saturday) to help raise money for two charities that were close to his heart, namely The Emily Ash Trust, which supports children with cancer, and the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth, Devon.
It starts at 7pm and will be at Beauport Park Golf Club.
Mr Sands’ widow, Julie, said: “Daniel was planning to run the Hastings Half Marathon last year after he learned that the son of his best friend had contracted leukaemia the previous August. He planned to raise funds for the CLIC Sargent charity, which supports children with cancer but could not in the end.
“The Emily Ash Trust was a charity close to Daniel’s heart, as it has helped his best friend’s son a lot. Daniel also loved donkeys and we frequently visited the sanctuary.”
She said her late husband often dreamed of having a home with sufficient land to have his own donkey. A plaque in his memory is on display at the sanctuary.
Mr Sands was diagnosed with CJD in November 2010 on his son’s 13th birthday.
His widow said: “Earlier that year he started falling asleep at odd times of the day and we noticed there was something wrong with his balance.
“He also started getting a little confused about things.
“In August that year we were on holiday in the New Forest and his driving had become erratic. I knew something was not right and we went to the doctor when we returned home. She diagnosed him with Meniere’s disease, which affects the inner ear and balance.
“He was given medication but he never got better and within two weeks Daniel went downhill very quickly.”
After numerous tests and scans at Hurstwood Park neurological centre in Haywards Heath, Mr Sands was diagnosed with CJD.
Mrs Sands said: “Our world just went but I’ve never seen a prouder man than Daniel as he just took the news with great courage.”
Last February the couple, who were married for almost 15 years, renewed their wedding vows. They planned to go on a second honeymoon but he died six weeks late.
Tickets for tomorrow’s event are £10 per person.
The evening includes a buffet, disco and live entertainment from comedians and musicians.
For more information and how to donate and buy tickets log onto www.littlelondonstudios.com/danielsands/