Girl takes to stage in memory of grandfather
4:00pm Sat Jan 19, 2013
A singer who lost her grandfather to motor neurone disease is holding a charity concert in his memory.
Rachel Percy with a poster promoting the charity concert she is organising in memory of her grandfather, Mr Alan Dermott. (120113JT1-6 )
Rachel Percy with a poster promoting the charity concert she is organising in memory of her grandfather, Mr Alan Dermott. (120113JT1-6 )
Rachel Percy, 21, of Newark, will be the headline act at Newark Working Men’s Club, Beacon Hill Road, on Friday.

Rachel is raising money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Her grandfather, Mr Alan Dermott, died in May 2008, aged 69.

As a result of the disease, Mr Dermott suffered from muscle wastage in his tongue during his final two years, which Rachel said impacted on his quality of life.

“Motor neurone disease is basically muscle wastage,” she said.

“It usually makes the muscle waste away in their legs, whereas my grandad’s went first in the throat and tongue.

“He couldn’t speak for about the last two years of his life and he found it hard to swallow when having liquids.

“When he died he was only six stone, and he was 6ft tall. It’s not a nice disease.”

Rachel, who graduated from London Metropolitan University last year, will be performing alongside singers Daniel Spendlow and Rebecca Hudd-Smith.

There will be a raffle with vouchers for local stores on offer.

“It’s something I have wanted to do for a while,” said Rachel.

“I wanted to support the charity for my grandad and now I have come back and got settled in Newark I can.”

Mrs Margaret Dermott, Mr Dermott’s wife of 47 years, will be there, and Rachel said she was doing everything she could to help.

Mr Dermott served in the Army, which Rachel said made his final years even more difficult as he had many interesting stories to tell.

She said he started using sign language to communicate.

Mr Dermott was a regular at Newark Working Men’s Club.

Rachel, Dan and Rebecca will perform hits from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s to the present day.

The event starts at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £3 and are available from Vintage Vixen, Kirkgate Health Food Shop, Newark, or on the door. All proceeds will go to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

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