A DYING man has raised £4,000 for fellow sufferers of a rare degenerative disease.

Richard Harrison, 66, has multiple system atrophy (MSA) which is causing the nerves in his brain to waste away.

He is slowly losing the use of his arms and legs and one day his brain will forget how to make his lungs breathe.

Over the bank holiday weekend, Mr Harrison held a four-day event in The Star in Cholsey to raise funds for the MSA Trust.

The trust needs £1m to help find a cure for the condition, which affects five in every 100,000 people.

Mr Harrison, who lives in Waterloo Close in Cholsey, said: “It has been fantastic. The pub has never seen so many people.”

The festivities included a quiz night on Friday, two bands on Saturday, a fete on Sunday and an Aunt Sally event on Monday. About 300 people attended the Sunday event, which featured a bouncy castle, face painting, live music and a barbecue.

He said: “It is not going to help me, I am past it, but I am thinking of others who are going to get it.”

Mr Harrison developed MSA about three years ago. Doctors do not know what causes it.

He said: “Ten years ago I was driving a Mitsubishi Warrior truck and now I am in a wheelchair. I cannot eat properly because I throw it all over me. It is a bit like having Parkinson’s, I have got the shakes.”

His son, Richard Harrison, of The Forty in Cholsey, said: “I see my dad every morning and I am just watching him slowly going downhill.

“He is having trouble swallowing at the moment, but eventually his brain will forget how to breathe. It has been an absolute nightmare.”