In late 2015, my Mum was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease. At the time, I knew very little about the disease, and I know that awareness for it is still low. But both my own research, and the support from MND Scotland helped greatly in letting me know what was happening now, and what would happen in the future.
The most famous case of a MND sufferer is Stephen Hawking, but while he has lived with the disease for more than 60 years, but 50 per cent of sufferers die within 14 months of diagnosis and the remainder within five years, Hawking being a unique example. You can all do your own research into the disease as you want, and there's plenty of resources online to help you, which I'll link below, but in summary, MND is a progressive disease that attacks the nerves, (motor neurones) in the brain and spinal cord, stopping messages from reaching the muscles. Simply, this means that your muscles stop doing what you tell them. There is no known cure, although charities like MND Scotland are working tirelessly towards one.
A few years ago, the ALS Ice Bucket viral challenge swept across Facebook, and I know that if you saw this page on Facebook chances are that you took the plunge so to speak. ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is the most common form of MND, and the huge amount of money raised led to a major breakthrough. While I'm not aiming for the almost £80 million that the Ice Bucket Challenge raised in just thirty days, every donation can hugely help ,MND Scotland deliver the care needed by sufferers, help them to provide the information and emotional support that people need when they are diagnosed and as the disease progresses, as well as to help them continue funding research to work towards a cure.
Although my mum lost her voice soon after her diagnoses, her continued positive outlook on life serves as a constant inspiration to me. Her blog gives an insight into a strong woman who refuses to give into a disease that weakens her body more and more every day. What money I raise here will be nothing compared to the emotional support that she has given me all my life, and the lessons I have learnt from her. Her love of literature is the same love that I have inherited, and that now see's me studying English Literature at University. My aim is to raise what I can for MND Scotland, because I know from first-hand experience, how brilliant the nurses and volunteers are, and how desperately needed the charity is in Scotland.
So there we go. I plan to inflict months of exhausting training on myself so that I can drag my body through 12 miles of mud and obstacles, but every inch will be dedicated to the work done by MND Scotland and the brilliant woman who raised me.
I hope you give what you can, no matter how little, or how much. Every penny is welcome.
If you need any further motivation, I pledge to dye my hair blue for the event itself if I reach £250 donated!
The MND Scotland website, which can tell you about the disease better than I could:
An article on the breakthrough funded by the Ice Bucket Challenge:
My mum's brilliant blog: