Being a parent is tough at the best of times - factor in a child with a rare and incurable disease and every day is a challenge.

When Shahnaz Ahmad found out her eldest child Asif was suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy she was devastated.

Instead of watching her child thrive she has had to watch him slowly deteriorating. He can't walk and now, at the age of 13, can just about feed himself.

Out of respect to Asif, his mother asked me not to publish some of the more distressing aspects of his illness but if you want to find out more and what the prognosis is for sufferers visit the Muscular Dystrophy website.

I met Asif and his family last week at their home in Lidget Green to hear about their latest battle - trying to secure a visa for Asif's uncle to come and stay in Bradford for a few months to help Asif recover from a major operation.

The story prompted a lot of comment - with some people of the opinion the family is using Asif's condition as an excuse for his uncle to enter the country, whereupon he will disappear, never to be seen again.

Shahnaz phoned me to say she had been reading the comments. She is disappointed with some, but is taking heart from the positive.

Having met the family I do not doubt their motives for one moment - if Shahnaz is lying to me then she could give Helen Mirren a run for her money in the acting stakes.

For me she is a remarkable woman - her son hasn't got an illness he will 'get over' - there is no cure for him, full stop. If you are a parent - or indeed anyone with a heart - just stop for one moment and imagine how that must feel.

Shahnaz doesn't complain, ask for handouts or shirk responsibility for his care. Neither does she waste her time on self pity - she is too busy trying to make life as easy as possible for Asif (while also caring for her other two children as well).

Asif has told his mum and dad he wants to be cared for by his uncle who lives in Pakistan when he is recovering from his operation and that is all they are trying to do.
There is no ulterior motive.

An appeal against the decision is to be heard and I am keeping my fingers crossed the Ahmad family get the decision they so desperately want and need.