A granddaughter is raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society as a way of saying thank you to her inspirational grandad.
Drama student Kailey McGowan says former Burnley window cleaner Anthony McGowan shaped her life, stepping into the role of father when her own father walked out on his family.
“I’ll always be truly grateful,” said Kailey (22). “I wish he wasn’t ill. But for the years we got together, I wouldn’t change him for the world.
“He created the fun in my childhood,”
It was Mr McGowan who first saw Kailey’s talent, and she says it is down to him that this week she starts her BA acting degree at Manchester School of Theatre. “He told me I was born for the stage, and that I was going to do incredible things,” she said.
Dementia patient Mr McGowan has had Alzheimer’s for 15 years and is now in a care home.
I wish he wasn’t ill. But for the years we got together, I wouldn’t change him for the world.Kailey McGowan
“He and my grandma Ann were inseparable,” said Kailey, ”They still are, he’s just slowly forgetting who we all are. That’s why I want to spread the word, and show how it can change someone’s life, it is in no way about being “forgetful” it’s so much more.”
Kailey’s fund-raiser is a Christmas charity ball at Koko’s, in Cow Lane, on December 19th.
She hopes to make more than £4,000 from selling £15 tickets to a capacity crowd of 300 partygoers, and every penny will go to the charity. Koko’s has sponsored the ball. More information can be found at www.facebook.com/CharityBallBurnley.
“The person who believed in me and inspired me has no idea that I have achieved the goals we set out together,” said Kailey.
“He is the reason I have the confidence to achieve all of my goals and I want to give back to him in some way.”