Scotland’s youngest MND sufferer on bucket lists and bad days

Lucy Lintott, 21, Scotland's youngest MND patient, pictured last year on a  'bucket list' trip to Stonehenge.
Lucy Lintott, 21, Scotland's youngest MND patient, pictured last year on a 'bucket list' trip to Stonehenge.
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LUCY LINTOTT may have been the youngest person in Scotland to be diagnosed with motor neurone disease - but the 21-year-old reckons her weekends are still better than most.

That’s because she is busy flying helicopters or taking a seat at the opera, anything to help her achieve her bucket list while she can.

Lucy Lintott (centre) at her 21st birthday party this summer with  (left to right) sister Laura, brother Ross, dad Robert and mum Lydia.

Lucy Lintott (centre) at her 21st birthday party this summer with (left to right) sister Laura, brother Ross, dad Robert and mum Lydia.

Lucy was just 19 when she received the news she was afflicted with a disease she had never even heard of. Lucy only cried when she heard the word “incurable”.

After locking herself away and hitting Google to find out more about the condition, Lucy went on the offensive against the disease that will almost certainly leave her paralysed and cause her early death.

She launched a fundraising mission to raise £100,000 for research into Motor Neurone Disease and drew up the list of things she must accomplish while fit enough to do so.

It is an outlook which has kept her busy, exhausted, thrilled and determined not to let the diagnosis define her.

I try so hard not to let things annoy me or get me down

Lucy Lintott

Lucy, of Garmouth, Moray, said: “I had no idea that I had to make a bucket list but my scout leader said ‘you’ve got to come up with some stuff you want to do.’

“I couldn’t think of anything at first but I feel sorry for my parents now. Every time they come home I am like ‘we’ve got to go and do this, I want to go here’.

“I had never seen a musical, or a ballet or an opera and and I have now and I absolutely love the opera. I suppose the things that I am doing now I thought I would do when I was older and settled down.

“I think I’ve got a lot better weekends than a lot of people.”

With 23 challenges down, there is still a way to go but the one that stands for Lucy is meeting her favourite country music star, Miranda Lambert, who she has a ticket to see in Glasgow next year.

Meanwhile, Lucy, who has just returned from a two-week trip to Australia, has so far helped raise £67,000 into research with the small communities where she lives coming together to support the cause.

She admits, however, it is a challenge in itself to stay positive given she knows her condition will deteriorate over time.

She said: “I try so hard not to let things annoy me or get me down.

“I don’t really think about the future because if I do I just get upset. There is stuff I know that if I think about it, I cry.”

Lucy feels like her MND is under control for now, with the muscle weakness just in her hands and left leg.

She is cared for her mum Lydia and can still do most things - just with a little bit of extra help.

Lucy said: “When I walk my confidence has gone, I hold onto things. I just need to touch them, its weird. I can’t walk holding my iPad with both hands as I have to touch the wall.

“I have slowed down a lot but I can get up, walk to the bathroom, go and get some food. When I go out, I go out with someone and hold onto their arm because I can fall over.

”I am like an old lady, needing help getting in and out of cars.”

Lucy said her diagnosis had come before the Ice Bucket Challenge, an online charity drive for MND Scotland started by Gordon Aikman, a 30-year-old spin doctor at Holyrood who has campaigned to improve support for the disease and its sufferers.

Both Gordon and Lucy shared the stage at the Daily Record “Our Heroes” event earlier this year, where they shared an award for their fundraising.

Lucy said: “The MND now profile has never been higher. People know that patients end up in a wheelchair but I don’t think they truly grasp

what it does to them or the people round about them.

“I would say the stuff that Gordon has accomplished has been inspirational.”

And while Lucy doesn’t think too much about what the future will hold, she knows what she would like it to be like.

She said: “I hope I keep on having all these experiences, and making all these discoveries. I hope there are a lot more good days than bad.”