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Model helps make pal's party swing.

Byline: By Rob Kennedy

Chuffed Jonny Kennedy beams with delight as he celebrates moving into his new home with a hug from model Nell McAndrew.

Jonny, who has a rare skin disorder which leaves him covered in blisters and sores, got a cuddle from Nell after she turned up as a special guest at his housewarming party.

The 36-year-old suffers from Epidermylosis Bullosa (EB), which causes a breakdown in the proteins which hold skin together.

Jonny first bumped into the model last month in London's Hyde Park at a celebration to mark the 25th anniversary of the charity DEBRA which supports people with EB.

And when he moved into a sheltered accommodation complex in Alnwick, his heroine was there with his friends and family to make his day.

Jonny, of Chapel Lands, Alnwick, said: "It was an absolutely splendid housewarming. Nell came and brought me some gifts for the house.

"When I first met her, I got on with her. She is a very down to earth person. We chatted about things and I thought I would invite her to my party even though I knew she had a busy schedule.

"I was quite surprised when she rang to see if it was still happening and said she would come. I was really pleased."

About 50 people came for a buffet and barbecue. Nell brought Jonny a vase with flowers, a picture frame and a yucca plant.

He added: "One or two people had the courage to ask Nell for autographs. She is absolutely great and a tremendous supporter of DEBRA."

Nell said: "I first met Jonny a few weeks ago at the DEBRA photocall in Hyde Park and we really bonded. I was touched by his courage and humour. Although he has very delicate skin he insisted on me giving him a hug and a kiss several times.

"He kept me entertained for ages and when he asked me if I would like to go to his house warming party I jumped at the chance. He is a unique individual with tremendous character."

The head dress worn by Nell on the day she met Jonny, along with eight pieces of skin jewellery, will be auctioned on eBay from 15th to 25th August.

NDEBRA: (01344) 771961 or at www.debra.org.uk
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 4, 2003
Words:382
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