Banchory man in MND funding plea

Stephen Black, wife Mary and their family
Stephen Black, wife Mary and their family

A Banchory man diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease has urged the public to help fund vital research.

Father-of-four Stephen Black made his appeal during MND Awareness Week.

Stephen, 69, was diagnosed with the progressive terminal illness which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles in August last year.

MND can cause someone to lose the ability to walk, eat, speak and breathe unaided.

Stephen explained: “When we first heard the news it was earth-shattering. We are still trying to come to terms with this condition. However, we have an amazing support system through our friends and family.

“My MND symptoms have progressed much quicker than I would have expected and I am now in a wheelchair. I can no longer dress myself, take a shower unaided and require help for the simplest of tasks. Losing my independence is hard to accept.”

He retired as an oil industry contracts manager five years ago after working in the sector for 25 years.

During MND Awareness Week, which ended on Sunday, Stephen made his call for public support in funding research into the disease.

He said: “Research is so important - how else are we going to find a cure, or even a treatment that will help improve the lives of people with MND.

“We need to do something now for our future generations.”

People can donate £5 to MND Scotland by texting CUREMND to 70660 or donate online at www.mndscotland.org.uk. Craig Stockton, CEO of MND Scotland, said, “MND is a rapidly progressing terminal illness, with no effective treatment and no cure.

“Funding research is a key priority for MND Scotland. We currently fund three research projects in Scotland and have just announced a £450,000 investment in a further three projects. But with additional support we can do more.”

For more information about the research MND Scotland funds, and how to help, visit www.mndscotland.org.uk