When my mum lost her hard-fought battle with MND in November 2008, my life changed forever. Mum was only 39 when she died, leaving behind six incredibly loved children. Losing Mum was a huge shock. Without a definitive diagnosis, my family never gave up hope that one day she would get better, even as her health continued to deteriorate rapidly. As the oldest child, I became Mum’s main carer helping to raise my younger siblings – I was 18. Coping with our heart-breaking loss has been incredibly difficult. Every day, I wake up thinking about her and all the other families still struggling with the same challenges we did.
Fundraising and volunteering for the MND Association in memory of my wonderful mum have given me the opportunity to make a positive impact by supporting others affected by MND and helping to fund vital research into a cure.
I first became involved with the MND Association in 2017, as a fundraiser. I joined my local South Yorkshire Branch as a volunteer shortly afterwards, where I served on the fundraising sub-committee and the branch committee. I was invited to join the MND Association's Trustee Engagement Committee in September 2017 as a co-opted member to bring people together, link up fundraisers, local branches and groups across the country.
In June 2018, I set up a monthly walking group in Sheffield to help raise greater awareness about MND and organised the virtual ‘Big Steps of Hope’ tribute walk to honour those who have died from this cruel and devastating disease.
On a personal level, as a keen runner, I recently completed a 100-mile bike ride in support of the MND Association. Mum is my inspiration to do whatever I can to help others affected by MND, and as a trustee, I am determined to help make a positive difference so that one day, nobody will have their life cut short by MND.