Scarborough man Antony Shackleton has one last wish - this is how you can help him

An emotional appeal has been launched to help a Snainton man travel to Canada before he is too ill to do so.

Antony at Tan Hill crossing an item off his bucket list
Antony at Tan Hill crossing an item off his bucket list

Antony Shackleton, 56, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in September 2018 and now faces a desperate race against time to raise the money he needs for a dream trip before he becomes too ill to travel.

Before he became ill, Antony was a world famous rocking horse maker who created replicas for Sheikh Mohammed of Godolphin racing and notably a replica of Valegro for Team GB’s most decorated female Olympian, Charlotte Dujardin.

Antony’s wife Lou, 54, said: “He didn’t have a clue who he was making it for. He didn’t even get a picture! I’d have delivered it myself if I’d have realised!”

Antony wants to travel while he is still able.

Lou spoke about the couple’s hopes: “The plan is to travel to Canada, he’s always wanted to go in the autumn when the leaves change colour.

“We’d like to get the train through the Rockies which would give minimum walking and maximum impact.

“We hope to go for three to four weeks, it’s too big a journey to go for less. But it’s private healthcare over there and the insurance is crazy. They won’t take into account he’s not on a ventilator. It’s going to cost £5,400.

“The reality is that we might not raise it in time and next year it won’t matter.

A mobility scooter has enabled Antony and Lou to go for walks together

“We have to be gone by September.

“We’ve just got a mobility scooter which has been life changing and we went for our first walk in 18 months the other day.

“It made my world.

“Instead of sitting in the van and watching me walk, he can walk with me.

“If we don’t raise the full amount I will leave the money in GoFundMe and it will automatically be returned, although we do have a contingency plan to go to Iceland.

“So far we’ve raised £2,000, we’re funding the holiday ourselves, we’re just asking people to help pay the insurance.”

A statement on the couple’s GoFundMe page says:

“Motor Neurone Disease is the most horrific disease known to humans and yet my sweet, caring, talented and ever giving husband has it.

“It deprives you of the ability to move, breathe, eat, hold hands, cuddle, express yourself, speak, scratch a tickle, hold your head up, say I love you and simply tell your carer that you’re in pain.

“Clearly our sons and my life have changed as we prioritise Antony’s every need and wish.... he's a fighter and taking it all with dignity

“I used all my money adapting our house so he can live and pass away with myself and his boys around him in his own home.

“We cannot work due to his disability and his need for me to care for him.

“We managed to complete everything on his bucket list except one .... an autumn trip to Canada.

“This has been his life wish and we clearly thought we had years to do this.

“My husband is dying so I'm swallowing my pride and asking you the general public if you could spare a pound or two to help me pay for his insurance as it’s nearly as much as paying for his trip.

“Thank you for reading and thank you for donating.”

If you’d like to help Antony achieve his dream, you can find his GoFundMe page here.