Family and friends rally round Westquarter mum

Samantha Crawford with daughter Rhanna, left, and Jaynah Culbert who organised the fundraising disco
Samantha Crawford with daughter Rhanna, left, and Jaynah Culbert who organised the fundraising disco
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A devastated family is hoping 2013 will produce a miracle cure for the rare condition that has struck a mum.

Samantha Crawford is only 38 and is the youngest person in the UK to be diagnosed with multiple system atrophy.

The degenerative disease affects the nervous system, leaving sufferers with difficulties walking, talking, sleeping and swallowing.

Her Westquarter family is keen to raise awareness of MSA, as well as fundraise for the trust which supports research projects looking to find a cure.

This week, Samantha said she was overwhelmed when a disco organised by a schoolfriend of her daughter Rhanna (16) raised over £570, taking their tally to almost £7000.

Jaynah Culbert (17) decided to help after reading about the family’s plight in The Falkirk Herald earlier this year.

Samantha said: “I think it shows that the people in Falkirk can and will pull together to help anybody in a time of need.

“The gesture of this schoolgirl is amazing and shows that most teenagers do care enough to do something for someone else.”

Grateful Samantha said she was touched by Jaynah’s gesture.

The MSA sufferer said: “It’s pretty amazing that a young girl who never knew us read a story in her local paper and contacted Rhanna about doing something to help.”

Jaynah, of Middlefield, was aided by her uncle Jim Culbert who provided the disco free of charge from his Kiss Entertainment business.

She said: “I wanted to do something to help them as they really deserve it.”

It was only in March that tests revealed Samantha had the debilitating condition. But already her symptoms have got worse.

However, along with husband Andy (49), who gave up his job with the prison service to be Samantha’s full-time carer, and their daughter, she is determined that something positive will come out of her ordeal.

Visit the family’s blog at

and visit to donate.

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