Mum wins award for helping people with muscular dystrophy,

GROUP WORK Anisa Kothia and Nazma Choudhury who won awards for theirr work with a support group.
GROUP WORK Anisa Kothia and Nazma Choudhury who won awards for theirr work with a support group.

A mum whose son suffers from a muscle-wasting condition has won an award for helping scores of other people suffering from similar conditions.

Anisa Kothia, from Dewsbury, was presented with the Muscular Dystrophy UK 2015 Charity Champion award by former tennis star Sue Barker for running Awaaz – a group that helps that South Asian families in the area with members suffering from the condition.

Many of the families Anisa has helped across Yorkshire have had difficulty getting the help they need due to language barriers.

Anisa, whose son Yusef has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, said: “Winning the award came as a shock.

“We set up Awaaz to help families out there. I know from my own experience that when you see health professionals, it’s a daunting experience.

“You are learning about a totally new condition that you may well have never heard of before.

“It’s an extremely emotional time and you are trying to take in all this information. It’s so hard to absorb it.

“I think of all the other families out there for whom, English might be a second language, and that is not just South Asian families.

“Would they feel confident enough to ask questions, share their experiences?

“Awaaz is an opportunity for us to feel at ease, knowing that we are in the same situation together.

“It was a lovely surprise that our work has been recognised in this way, a big privilege.

“Sue Barker was such a lovely person. She was so supportive and wanted to know all about our experiences.”

Sue said: “Awaaz is a hub for over 50 children and adults, to come together to share experiences, advice and friendship.

“So successful have Nazma and Anisa’s efforts been, that there are now plans to replicate it in other areas of the UK.

“The pair have made enormous efforts to promote communication about muscle-wasting conditions both within their own community, and far beyond.”

Awaaz co-chair, Nazma Chowdhury from Bradford, was also presented with a Charity Champion award.

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