A RETIRED businessman with a rare brain disease is raising money for a £25,000 piece of equipment.

Rayleigh resident Andrew Hulkes left his 35-year career in the property industry after being diagnosed with multiple system atrophy (MSA) in August 2012.

The condition affects 40 people in Essex and only about 3,000 in the country. The degenerative disease affects movement, balance and even blood pressure control.

There is no known cause or cure, but Mr Hulkes hopes to buy a device called a GigerMD which can help patients regain motor functions and sensitivity.

He has already raised more than £6,000 towards buying the equipment, which will be based at the Benfleet Physiotherapy Practice, and making it available to anyone to use, free of charge.

He said: “While medical science can’t cure MSA, and that is likely to remain true for a long time, the GigerMD could improve the lives of people with MSA and other neurological conditions.

“For this reason I want to buy the equipment and Benfleet Physiotherapy Practice has agreed to have it and not only offer therapy to MSA sufferers free of charge, but also provide rehabilitation services to anyone suffering with a neurological condition.

Benfleet Physiotherapy Practice’s Nigel Kimpton added: “I met Andrew about a year ago.

“I was immediately impressed by his tenacious spirit and determination not to allow MSA to control his life.

“So impressed were we, that we have decided to develop a specific neuro-room to accommodate the GigerMD equipment.”

To donate to the campaign, visit www.justgiving.com/Hulkesy