Every season, Maley’s Bhoys chooses one new charity to support to the fullest of our ability throughout the coming year. During our first eighteen months in existence, we have raised money and gathered items for two children’s charities, the Good Child Foundation (approximately £375, Jan – May 2011) and the Kano Foundation (approximately £1100, Aug 2011 – May 2012).
However, after consultation with some of the support, I have decided to change our form a little in the coming season, supporting a charity which instead helps older people in this country, “Motor Neurone Disease Scotland”.
Motor Neurone Disease
This hugely debilitating condition is thankfully as rare as it is unforgiving. The condition progressively damages the sufferer’s nervous system, causing them to lose the use of their muscles, which begin to waste away, and, gradually, the disease causes almost total paralysis. Breathing, swallowing, and speaking become almost impossible in the disease’s later stages. There is no known cure for this terminal condition.
Whilst some exceptional individuals like Professor Stephen Hawking have lived with this disease for several decades, the expected lifespan of the average person diagnosed with this illness is between three and five years.
In this time, sufferers can go from a seemingly healthy, fit individual, to someone unable to do almost anything for themselves. Wheelchairs come first, often followed by the introduction of ventilators to help sufferers breath and even tubes to help them swallow. Often, as breathing becomes increasingly difficult for the sufferer, they lose their lives due to lack of oxygen, in their sleep.
I hate to be so clear and detailed in my description of the causes of this disease. Advancements in care have been made over the years, but this is still a truly horrible illness for anyone to have to endure, and for anyone to watch a loved one suffer.
Connections: Both Sporting and Personal
In 2005, Jimmy Johnstone died of Motor Neurone Disease. Having been diagnosed in 2001, Motor Neurone Disease took less than four years to end the life of Celtic’s greatest ever player. The man who will forever be remembered for his dazzling skill and incredible runs lost the use of his limbs, before ultimately losing his life, to a disease which treats the most and least famous amongst us in exactly the same manner.
There is a personal story which has only helped solidify my choice for this season’s charity. My grandfather (my father’s father), was a man whom I never had the pleasure of meeting. He died several years before I was born, at the tender age of sixty two, after suffering with Motor Neurone Disease for two years.
Of course, these are only two examples, of which there are many, many more.
Statistic show there has been an increase of almost 50% in the number of people suffering from Motor Neurone Disease in Scotland over the past five years.
“Motor Neurone Disease Scotland” was formed in 1981. The charity list their aims as:
• to ensure that the right help, care and support is available to everyone with MND and
their families in Scotland
• to inform, educate and support health and social care professionals working with people
affected by MND
• to raise awareness of MND
• to promote research into all aspects of MND
The provide support to sufferers of the disease, their families and their carers through:
• loan of specialist equipment and adaptations
• financial support such as small grants
• welfare and benefits advice and advocacy
• counselling for people affected by MND and relatives bereaved by the loss of someone
• information for individuals living with MND, and families affected by the condition
• education for health and social care professionals to ensure the best quality of care is
How We Can Help
Over the course of the coming season, Maley’s Bhoys will officially back “Motor Neurone Disease Scotland” to the fullest of our abilities. There will be several ways you will all be able to get involved should you wish to do so, and I have no doubt that, come the end of the season, we will have all participated in something we can be proud of.
Whilst I cannot announce details of all of our plans for fundraising at this point in time, updates will be forthcoming as the season approaches. Watch this space though, because there will be some things which won’t be worth missing! I’ll let everyone know how they can donate when the time arrives.
For now, I can only thank you all again for your support of our charitable efforts in the past, and hope we will be able to once again help a very worthy cause in season 2012-13.
Below, you can find a list of what any money raised could go towards:
£10 ….could pay for a Patient Information Pack which is delivered by our Care Team on first home visit after diagnosis. This gives the best quality of information to someone with MND and their family.
£50 ….could provide for a family information session, which gives invaluable support and advice to families and carers
£100 ….could enable our Welfare and Benefits Service to ensure that someone newly diagnosed and their family has all the financial support to which they are entitled
£500 ….could provide an iPad which can give someone with MND the power to communicate if they have lost the ability to speak
£600 ….could provide a small grant to someone with MND to help with the cost of essential home adaptations
£1000 ….could pay for our Care Team to provide a whole year of direct care to someone with MND