AN award-winning fundraiser who helped fund more than £43,000 of new equipment for York Hospital has retired.

Ron Middlemass, 79, of Huntington, has stood down as chair of the Myasthenia Gravis Association which offers help and support to people of all ages who have been diagnosed with any type of Myasthenia, a neuromuscular disease.

Despite suffering from Myasthenia Gravis for eight years, Mr Middlemass, has spent much of the time since his diagnosis volunteering.

Over the last six years, he has won The Press Community Pride Charity Fundraiser of the year Award and was presented with an award from the charity after York was twice named the top branch out of 57 nationally.

In 2012, he was invited to attend an event hosted by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, after being named as a Diamond Champion through WRVS, a charity for older people.

His wife Sheila, 61, the secretary of the group, has also retired from her role however the couple said they would continue to run their monthly stall in aid of the association in the hospital foyer.

Mr Middlemass said: "We both feel proud. It has been hard going but I think the best part of doing the fundraising was meeting so many nice, generous, helpful people.

"We did something every month and because I kept so busy it kept my mind off [my condition]."

He said he intended to take a break before focusing on a new project.

The new chairperson is Margaret King and the new secretary is Jen Graham.

Myasthenia Gravis is a debilitating, and potentially life-threatening neuromuscular disease which causes muscle fatigue and weakness.

There are three main types of Myasthenia and all are characterised by fluctuating muscle weakness and are associated with varied disability, ranging from mild to severe muscle weakness, which in some cases may involve the breathing muscles.

However, muscle weakness in Myasthenia is treatable and more research and awareness is needed.

If you would like to take part in fundraising events or organise your own event contact the Regional Organiser, Linda McDonald on 01325 308180 or email