Grandson is my ray of sunshine
Reporter: Gillian Potts
Date online: 02 January 2014
THE New Year has brought joy to a man whose determination and dignity has helped him and his family through utter devastation.
Eric Armitage was 53 when he was struck down by the terminal and debilitating neurological condition, multiple system atrophy, which rendered the once sports-mad community champion wheelchair bound and in need of 24 hour care.
But a fortnight ago Eric (60), from Chadderton, received a life-enhancing gift: the birth of his first grandchild.
The little boy has taken his brave, battling grandad’s name — the fourth generation to do so — and will be known as Isaac Eric Armitage. The Chronicle was there to capture their first emotional meeting alongside Eric’s step-grandson Jamie Brewis.
An overjoyed Eric told us: “Seeing Isaac for the first time was just magical and very emotional.
“I am an totally blown away by him, he’s absolutely beautiful.”
Every day is a struggle for Eric — who has coached and managed many junior football teams over the years, played badminton in the Oldham league, ran the Woodwork Project in Chadderton Hall Park and was an employment mentor for people with disabilities for Oldham Council for more than 20 years.
But it hasn’t stopped him and his devoted wife Angela pledging to raise £1m for the MSA Trust to help increase awareness and fund research in the little known disease.
The couple found this week they have hit the £20,000 mark, thanks to a host of kind-hearted locals and businesses who have agreed to help out.
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