Inspirational Burnley mum in frame for top award

Emma Drabble who has been nominated for a national MS Society Award
Emma Drabble who has been nominated for a national MS Society Award

An inspirational mum-of-one and fund-raiser from Burnley who suffers from multiple sclerosis could be in line for a national award.

Emma Drabble (30) has been picked as one of three finalists in the MS Fund-raiser of the Year category at the MS Society Awards after being nominated by her husband David.

She was diagnosed with MS eight years ago and had to leave her job shortly afterwards. Emma then became involved with the Burnley branch of the MS Society who gave her a grant for driving lessons so she could get her licence. That prompted Emma to start to fund-raise for the group.

She organised a pie and peas fund-raising event at a friend’s pub and started contacting celebrities on Twitter to see what they could donate to an auction. She received help from a boxer called Brian Rose, who Emma credits as the reason for other boxers donating gifts, including Ricky Hatton.

The event snowballed and gifts also came in from Rod Stewart and Sir Elton John, while it had to be moved from the pub to a hotel due to increased ticket sales.

There were also performances on the night from the dance group Dartversity, trained by Diversity’s Ashley Banjo’s secret dance crew. Emma tweeted throughout the event and managed to raise £8,000.

That was followed by a Cake Break fund-raiser which generated £300, and an event called the “Hairy Bikers Wax” where two local biker groups came together to get waxed.

David said: “Not only is Emma a wife and a mum to our nine-year-old son but also an MS warrior. People would say she was silly to take on these fund-raising challenges but she’s proven so many people wrong.

“She is also slowly getting young people involved in her local branch in addition to fund-raising in her spare time. I’m really proud of her for what she’s achieved in the last two years.”

Emma added: “I was completely gobsmacked when I found out. I had to read the email about 20 times before it could sink in. I was so shocked, I grinned and cried a lot. This really means a lot to me.”

She will attend a glittering awards ceremony hosted by Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, in London on Monday, October 6th.