Scottish anti-poverty campaigning hero Bob Holman only has a year to live, after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).
Mr Holman, who has worked as a social worker and community activist, revealed he has the muscle-wasting disease in July after it forced him to miss an annual summer camp for Glasgow children for the first time in 39 years.
However, he was still able to take part in the 25th anniversary celebrations of Family Action Rogerfield and Easterhouse (FARE), which took place at Glasgow’s Crowne Plaza hotel. Family Action was a community project Mr Holman helped establish, which supports family units in difficult and challenging times, when they feel they can’t cope alone.
The event was attended by more than 200 people, including several locals who had been helped by the group.
Mr Holman said: “For me, the highlight was when a tough young man, in his thirties, lifted me up in the crowd, thanked me, and then prayed for me. In Easterhouse as a teenager, he had been a violent gang member who went to prison. He associated with Fare, became a volunteer and helper at camp. Today he is one of our staff. It has all been worthwhile.”
Not afraid of death, Mr Holman said he is comforted by his faith: “MND is degenerative, progressive and life-shortening. I have been told I have about a year to live.
“Of course I am upset but I am a Christian and I am thankful that I have lived a long life with years spent in community activities. Not least, I am with a wonderful family.”
Having been in remission from Hodgkins Lymphona since 2010, Mr Holman experiened health problems for six months before the diagnosis of MND came.
Giving up a comfortable life as an academic, Mr Holman moved to Easterhouse to carry out grassroots charity work in line with his Christian socialist principles. He is also the author of several books, including one on the life of Keir Hardie.