Scottish born Gordon Aikman was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2014 at just 29 years old. MND is a progressive disease involving degeneration of the motor neurons and wasting of the muscles. This disease will take Gordon’s life, however Gordon has been campaigning to fight against the illness becoming an inspiration to all.
Since his diagnosis he launched a ‘Five-Point Fightback’ campaign calling for increased research funding to help find a cure for MND for future generations and those already diagnosed. After getting in touch with MND Scotland after his diagnosis, Gordon learnt of the unjust ways people suffering of MND are faced with such as; paying for their own vital personal care, waiting to receive necessary benefits, and sharing the time of only 7 specialist MND nurses covering the whole of Scotland. Around 130 people in Scotland are diagnosed with MND each year who are sharing this limited number of specialist nurses, for whom MND Scotland currently meets 80% of the cost.
Gordon’s Fightback campaign outlines the things the Scottish and UK Government can do to help find a cure and transform care for MND patients, these are:
- Pay MND nurses from the public purse
- Double the number of MND nurses
- Guarantee MND patients a voice
- Double MND research funding
- Pay carers a Living Wage
And to continue to monitor
- Fast-track benefits
- Outlaw care charges
So far Gordon’s campaign as delivered two of the five points raised in his campaign, and has raised £418,000 in funds to find a cure for the disease. On Monday 4 January, a documentary entitled ‘The Fight of Gordon’s Life’ was broadcasted on BBC One Scotland at 8.30pm. The documentary features more information on Gordon’s incredible journey, and fundraising and campaigning efforts. A very moving and inspirational viewing, and also very informative in finding out more about the motor neuron disease, the affects and how more much more can be done to fight against this deadly disease. The documentary will be shown again tomorrow 8 January on BBC Two Scotland at 12.35am, or you can watch ‘The Fight of Gordon’s Life’ on BBC IPlayer. Find out more about the campaign and Gordon’s fundraising at gordonsfightback.com.