I'm Janice (second from the right in my green dress with my amazing colleagues!) and I will be taking on the Great Wall of China for charity MND Scotland in memory of late MND campaigner Gordon Aikman.
I am a specialist Motor Neurone Disease (MND) nurse covering the Greater Glasgow and Clyde areas. If you don't know - MND is a rapidly progressing terminal illness, which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles. This may cause someone to lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, drink or breathe unaided.
If you can spare a few £££'s for this fantastic cause I would really appreciate your support. Here's my story....
I joined the team of Scottish MND Clinical Specialists in February 2016 after Gordon Aikman campaigned for, and secured, the doubling of MND nurses in Scotland.
Prior to this I worked in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital’s neurology department and Ardgown Hospice, so already had experience of working with people affected by MND.
With my experience in palliative care and neurology I felt this role was a natural progression for me. Two MND specialist nurses, Laura and Carole, regularly came onto the ward to visit their patients, so I would see the kind of work they did and thought it looked like something I would like to do.
Naturally it can be a very rewarding job; anything I can do to make people’s lives a little bit easier is worthwhile. I feel very privileged to do my job. People let me into their homes when they have just been given life-changing news. Each person is different, with their own individual needs and wants. No day is the same and I work with a lot of other health professionals and local authority staff to ensure people affected by MND in Scotland have the best quality of life possible.
So why the Great Wall of China?
The idea was sparked in June 2018 when I attended the Gordon Aikman Fightback Dinner in aid of MND Scotland.
I was on my way to Gordon’s Fightback Dinner and was casually chatting to my colleague Laura about life in general. I mentioned that one regret in life I had was that I hadn’t travelled more. I’ve been lucky enough to have gone on many great holidays but never took up the offer to travel around Europe with my twin sister Linda when she asked me in the late 70’s. Later that night Laura said – ‘Right okay, I challenge you to sign up for the Great Wall of China for MND Scotland. That can start you on you’re travelling.’ And I did. Half an hour later I was up on stage singing my heart out to start my fundraising!
Gordon Aikman was a huge inspiration for me. I am in awe of what he did when faced with such a terrible diagnosis. His work and tireless efforts have literally changed my life professionally and personally. He underpins it all.
I am so grateful I got to meet and thank him personally. That’s one good reason for doing this trek for MND Scotland; in memory of Gordon and in memory of my late sister Linda. So please support us if you can.