THE bravery of a former employee who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) has inspired the first in a series of £10,000 donations from Europe’s biggest trailer maker.
Ifor Williams Trailers has pledged to give a total of £50,000 to good causes to mark the company’s 50th anniversary.
Andrew Davies, 39, was as fit as a fiddle before being struck down by MS when he was in his 20s.
The married father-of-two was a highly regarded member of staff who worked in the research and design department.
In his spare time, he was a keen cyclist who rode up to 120 miles every week.
Now confined to a wheelchair, Andrew lives in Cynwyd, near Corwen, with his wife Eleri and their two daughters, Ceri, 10 and Cadi, seven.
But the family connection with Ifor Williams Trailers remains strong.
His father Ned is the production co-ordinator in the Cynwyd factory while his mother, also called Eleri, is the receptionist and his brother, Paul, is a national sales account manager.
Andrew and the rest of the family are delighted the company have decided to mark their golden jubilee by giving £10,000 to the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Currently there is no cure for the debilitating disease that attacks the central nervous system.
Although the cause is not known, it affects 85,000 people in the UK with 2,500 newly diagnosed cases each year.
He said: “I realised there was something wrong in 1995 and my doctor sent me to see a neurologist. It felt like the end of the world when I found out I had MS, it was a big shock.
“The symptoms included dizzy spells, especially when I’d wake up in the morning, and blurred vision.
“I passed my motorcycle test in 1996 and I thought it was nothing to worry about. But since finishing work in 1998 it has gone downhill. It’s a condition that affects everything you do but my daughters keep me going, they’re full of life.”
John Williams, managing director of Ifor Williams Trailers, said they’d considered a number of ideas for how to mark the milestone in the company’s history.
“We decided it would be fitting to give a £50,000 for 50 years in business, split into five £10,000 donations.
“There are lots and lots of good causes but we thought it was appropriate the Multiple Sclerosis Society should be the first recipient.
“We still think very highly of Andrew and we miss him in the workplace. He has borne the condition bravely and his positive attitude is an inspiration to us all.”
The company will be announcing the four other recipients later in the year.