Prof D Mark Cato was diagnosed with MND in February 2008 when he was approaching 74. Since his diagnosis, he’s been keeping a diary which he is now turning into a blog.
MND is frustrating but it has also inspired me.
“My doctor confirmed what I’d feared all along – that I had MND. I had suspected this as I’d been looking on the internet. But strangely the diagnosis was a relief as now I knew why my arms were weak.
“Since that day, my arms and hands are becoming much weaker. I can now no longer manage buttons or zips and in my day-to-day work I can’t lift heavy files. I’ve sometimes had to ask a shop assistant to help me remove my wallet so that I can pay for a purchase. On one occasion I asked a policeman if he would be kind enough to tie my shoe lace which had come undone in the London Underground.
“All of this has been frustrating but it has also inspired me. I’m now deeply committed into finding and designing gadgets which will help not only me but other people with weak hands – arthritis sufferers, stroke victims, people living with Parkinson’s disease and so on, to lead as normal a life as possible.
“I have resigned from my golf club. I have also resigned from my last arbitration. It was a heavy case and likely to go on for some months. Being unable to write legibly without great effort I could see no way that I could run a hearing with two heavyweight lawyers appearing before me. As president of the Arbitration Club I shall continue to attend lunches in London as long as I am able to. It’s not so much a question of giving up as re-adjusting.”
Mark is keen to hear from anyone who has ideas for gadgets or has any hints or tips for anyone affected by MND. You can keep up to date with his latest news, his amusing anecdotes, and send him information about your own design ideas at www.dmarkcato.com.