Unlike me what? Well trust me, this time what I am about to reveal is no laughing matter.
For the past four years or so I have been an avid campaigner and volunteer for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. For those of you who have never heard of MND as it’s commonly known, here are five key facts:-
1. It is a neurological condition which affects the brain and spinal chord
2. Approx 5,000 people have the disease in the UK
3. MND leaves people trapped in a failing body unable to walk, talk or feed themselves
4. Around half of those diagnosed die within 2-5 years
5. Five people die from MND every day in the UK
Not only does this cruel disease kill around 1,500 people in the UK every year , but there is currently no cure or effective treatment. While researchers have made some significant breakthroughs in recent years, we are still many years away from either treatment or a cure. Contrary to popular myth, it is not an old person’s disease, it is becoming increasingly common to see young and fit men and women succumb to the ravages that this disease inflicts.
A good friend of mine, Richard Dawson, lost his father to MND several years ago and has been on a mission to raise funds for and awareness of, a disease which many people remain ignorant of. As part of this mission he has a London Cab named MaNDy which he takes around the country helping him in his quest. See the pic below.
Last night he posted on his facebook page the following;-
Hi all ! The press is running hot on the topic of Motor Neurone Diesase currently as Mark Maddox is running the London Marathon which is simply simply stunning and I currently have one eye on the tele.. go go MARK !!!
I want to keep up the pressure on the press and I need your help. Many of you will know me as Richard “MND MaNDy Taxi” Dawson and over the last 8 weeks I have been putting pressure on the BBC One Show and other media to pick up the story of the BigMNDrace and what amazing work others are doing to raise awareness and funds for MND and MND Scotland. Cycling, Swimming the Solent, Climbing Everest, the list is endless
But alas – they are not responding to me and I am now calling you all to action – lets see if the power of over 243 friends I have on Facebook and help get the taxi, and some other high profile MND supporters and sufferers on The One Show.
So the plan:
1) Can you all e-mail “email@example.com” tell them about MND who you knew with it, who you know with it currently – what it means to you and that we need the One Shows support to help run our story and raise national awareness.
2) Send them the press release link as well
3) Do you have any other media contacts ? Press, TV, Media, how can they help ?
The power of many is key ! lets see what we can all do. This is not about me getting on TV – this is about smashing the awareness in June ! getting as much national coverage as possible.
In return – I will drive this old taxi to Fort William, climb Ben Nevis and Drive it back…and I will ensure we capitalise on as much PR as possible
For those of you who were enthralled by the London Marathon yesterday, in his post Richard refers to Mark Maddox, a former professional footballer for Altrincham FC, who was diagnosed with MND in 2010. Despite this, Mark not only ran the Liverpool Marathon last year, but this year he completed the London race – defying medical opinion in the process – in a very respectable time of 6 hours and 40 minutes.
If you want to read more about this extraordinary man’s achievement click on this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-22213895
So come on you lot, please help Richard by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to help publicise this and other incredible things people are doing to raise funds and increase awareness of a disease you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. I have personally witnessed the affect MND has; not only on the person living with it; but also those who are left behind, and it’s not pleasant.
For Mark, Richard and everyone doing their bit over the coming months especially during MND Awareness Month in June, your help spreading the message to all and any media outlets would be much appreciated.