I cut together a bunch of BMX footage to a song that my brother Dave always told me I should use for an edit, and I realised that a lot of people would see the video from all over the world (not bragging, that's just the way the internet works). We lost Dave last year to Motor Neurone Disease and it seemed appropriate to use the exposure to try and raise a bit more money for a charity who are a huge help to people living with MND and their loved ones.
As a result of the ice bucket challenge in 2014 there is a lot more awareness about MND, but in case you're like me and you didn't really engage with the ice bucket thing I'll briefly explain how the disease acts.
MND kills the nerves in the brain and spinal column which are responsible for voluntary movement - that's things like moving your arms and legs, talking, swallowing and breathing. It kills about 1 in every 300 people in the UK and there is currently no cure, effective treatment or even an easy way to diagnose it early on. This last point might seem like a low priority for research but the tests are extremely painful and take a long time, and those first few months when you notice your foot slapping the pavement or your voice slurring are sadly the best you will get with MND, so a better diagnosis would be a big help.
It goes without saying that this is an extremely distressing process to go through or witness happening to a loved one. Dave was diagnosed around 15 months before his death, and had been experiencing progressively worsening symptoms for about 7 months prior to his diagnosis. He went from competing in Iron Man triathlons and ultramarathons to needing round-the-clock care for all his needs, feeding through a tube, communicating with a computer and breathing using a ventilator during the course of these two years. Sadly this rate of disease progression is completely typical for MND.
However, I don't like to think about these aspects of Dave's disease - I like to remember him writing completely charming children's books, proposing via cats and having a hastily prepared wedding to his amazing wife Philippa (which turned out to be the best wedding I've ever been to), climbing as far up Kilimanjaro as it is possible to get without the use of your arms or just keeping a sense of humour right to the end!
David Greaves... what a bloody legend!