I was delighted to attend a reception hosted by the Motor Neurone Disease Association on Tuesday 16 June to mark MND Awareness Month. I met people affected by MND and heard about the impact of this devastating disease. More than 130 volunteers from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland attended the event in Westminster.
Earlier the same day the Chief Executive of the MND Association Sally Light and Association Patron and ITV Good Morning Britain presenter Charlotte Hawkins were joined by people affected by MND to hand in a petition to Downing Street. The MND Charter, signed by more than 33,500, calls for the right care, in the right place at the right time for people with MND and their carers.
The MND Association was founded in 1979 by a group of volunteers with experience of living with or caring for someone with MND. It is the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning. Their vision is of ‘A world free from MND’. MND Association states until they achieve their vision, they will do all they can to enable people with MND to maximise their quality of life and die with dignity.
Here are some facts about MND:
- MND is a fatal, rapidly progressive disease that affects the brain and spinal cord.
- It attacks the nerves that control movement so muscles refuse to work. Sensory nerves are not usually affected.
- It can leave people locked in a failing body, unable to move, talk and eventually breathe.
- It affects people from all communities.
- It kills around 30% of people within 12 months of diagnosis, and more than 50% within two years.
- It affects up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time.
- It has no cure.