Bolton Wanderers are to stage a special charity match and black-tie dinner to help raise funds for the treatment of Everton Academy graduate Gethin Jones’ mother.
A former midwife who worked for the NHS for 30 years, Karen, 56, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in July.
With no current cure for MND – an illness that affects the brain and nervous system – the Jones family wants to pursue the best current care and leading course of treatment which is available only in the United States.
To help meet costs – and raise awareness of MND – the family launched a Just Giving appeal during the summer.
Following Bolton’s League One fixture at home to Crewe Alexandra on Friday 12 November, Wanderers will stage a dinner in the Lion of Vienna Suite at the University of Bolton Stadium on the evening of Saturday 13 November (from 7pm).
And on Sunday 14 November, Wanderers’ first-team squad will take on a Wanderers All-Star XI (KO 1pm).
“It was unbelievable when we put the Just Giving Page up,” said former Everton Under-23s captain Jones, who made his senior debut for the Blues in a Europa League clash against FC Krasnodar in 2014.
“No one knew about it and within an hour fans found out and the support from the fans we’ve had has been incredible.
“I put a little tweet out to thank the fans but to have something going ahead here at the club, which has been fantastic, along with the gaffer and all the lads, will be fantastic support for my mum.
“Mum is staying strong and only has a positive mindset. We are just taking it day by day. She has her good moments and she has low moments.
“For me, football takes my mind off it a bit but I get my moments when I do break down when I go home.
“I just try and stay positive and everything people like (ex-GB rugby league international) Rob Burrow, Stephen Darby and others are doing to raise awareness of MND is something we want to do as well.
“We have got loads of things going on, like fundraisers in Wales, just to raise awareness because it’s something that’s needed to get more research into MND. It’s something we’re desperate to look into.”
The Jones’ appeal is aiming to raise a total of £250,000, with 25 per cent of the funds going to the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation in recognition of its work and the help and support given by former Bolton defender Darby – who also suffers from MND.
Further details of the charity match at the University of Bolton Stadium will follow, but tickets priced £10 and £5 are now on sale HERE via bwfc.co.uk.
Tables of 10 for the black-tie dinner will cost £750 or £75 per person and are bookable via the Bolton Whites Hotel sales team on 01204 673610 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, any business or supplier wishing to donate their services or products for the evening should please make contact using the same method.
The thoughts of everyone at Everton are with Gethin, Karen and the rest of the Jones family and we wish them the very best with their fundraising efforts.