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First wife of Professor Stephen Hawking to return to Suffolk to speak at conference

PUBLISHED: 16:19 02 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:19 02 July 2018

Dr Jane Hawking at Headway Suffolk's third annual Neuro Conference in 2017 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dr Jane Hawking at Headway Suffolk's third annual Neuro Conference in 2017 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The first wife and carer of Professor Stephen Hawking is returning to be a keynote speaker at the fourth annual Headway Suffolk Neuro Conference in October.

Dr Jane Hawking, carer and first wife of Professor Stephen Hawking speaking at Headway Suffolk's third annual Neuro Conference at BT Adastral Park in 2017  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNDr Jane Hawking, carer and first wife of Professor Stephen Hawking speaking at Headway Suffolk's third annual Neuro Conference at BT Adastral Park in 2017 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dr Jane Hawking headlined last year’s conference with an inspirational speech about her life with the famed scientist, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease shortly after the couple met. The couple were married for 30 years.

Professor Hawking died in March aged 76, with astronauts, world leaders and celebrities around the world paying tribute.

Last year, Dr Hawking addressed delegates about the difficulties she faced and how, despite the advances in technology, many of the same problems of not being able to access the right care exist today as they did in the 1960s and 1970s.

She also spoke about the couple’s involvement in the production of the multiple award-winning 2014 film The Theory of Everything, which followed her 2007 autobiography Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen.

Chief executive of Headway Suffolk Helen Fairweather with Dr Jane Hawking at last year's conference  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChief executive of Headway Suffolk Helen Fairweather with Dr Jane Hawking at last year's conference Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Following the 2017 conference, Dr Hawking became a patron of Headway Suffolk.

At this year’s conference, at Kesgrave Conference Centre on October 17, the author and teacher will talk about her life as a family carer, the challenges that are faced by carers, and how to improve life and conditions for carers.

Dr Hawking is the fourth speaker confirmed for the conference, joining world-renowned health expert Professor Robert Winston, Dr Hilda Hayo, chief admiral nurse and chief executive of Dementia UK, and Dr Sajid Alam, a consultant in stroke medicine at Ipswich Hospital.

Headway Suffolk has attracted huge interest in its first three conferences, with Professor Hawking making a rare public appearance to discuss his life with motor neurone disease two years ago, and local brain injury survivor Andrew Renton taking his first public steps in 21 years in 2015.

This year’s event promises to be another highlight in Suffolk’s calendar, with further keynote speakers due to be announced shortly to address guests on a broad range of subjects related to brain injury and neurological conditions in the healthcare sector.

Tickets are priced at £40 (plus booking fee) and are available from Eventbrite at: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/headway-suffolk-neuro-conference-2018-tickets-40194431627

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