A charity founded by former Scotland rugby international Doddie Weir has donated £100,000 to support people with motor neurone disease (MND).
The 47-year-old announced his diagnosis last year to raise awareness of the degenerative condition and pledged to devote his time to helping with research and supporting fellow sufferers.
On Global MND Awareness Day, Weir donated £100,000 to MND Scotland’s grant scheme which helps people with the illness adapt their home, buy equipment or enjoy a family holiday.
Weir said: “The generosity and support we have received from all quarters since we launched My Name’5 Doddie Foundation has been incredible. From the start, I wanted to do something to help people who were going through the same as me.
“When you are diagnosed with motor neurone disease, the future for you and your family is so terribly bleak. We are committed to helping find a cure for this devastating disease while also helping people affected by MND.
“We have already made some individual awards to families but we also recognise that MND Scotland has the experience and resources to help those who need it most. This is why we are delighted to have committed £100,000 to MND Scotland today, to allow them to use their grant system to make sure the funds we have raised are directed in the most effective way.
“We are also talking to MND Association in England and will have further announcements in the next few weeks about how we hope to support fellow sufferers.”
Last year MND Scotland awarded 270 grants totalling £225,000.
Among those who received support was Jim Grant, 75, who was diagnosed with MND in 2000.
He said: “I have used MND Scotland’s grants to contribute towards the cost of the ramp built outside my home. Without it I would be house-bound.
“I have also used the charity’s grants for breaks away - Janet, my wife, and I have been to MND Scotland’s caravan in Fife and their chalet in Oban, which are great because they are fully accessible.
“Sometimes I go to Leuchie House with the grants, where I can receive 24-hour care. This means Janet can take a break from caring for me full-time and get a holiday of her own, which is very important.
“We have benefited from MND Scotland grants and are so pleased that Doddie is supporting such a fantastic service.”
Lawrence Cowan, chairman of MND Scotland, said: “We are extremely grateful to Doddie’s Foundation for making this generous contribution to our grants this year.
“Doddie’s support will go a long way in helping us deliver these essential grants this year, to help people affected by this devastating disease. By working together, we will transform MND care in Scotland.”
Earlier this month, the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation gave £400,000 to support the experts investigating gene therapy for sporadic MND.
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