Doddie Weir: Scotland legend says 'I'm not giving in, not until my last breath' as he signs Do Not Resuscitate form

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Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir, who is battling motor neurone disease, has opened up about preparing his family for the end of his life.

The inspirational former British & Irish Lions lock, 49, was diagnosed with MND in 2016.

Doddie Weir watched Scotland's Six Nations clash with England at Murrayfield. Picture: Andrew Milligan

Doddie Weir watched Scotland's Six Nations clash with England at Murrayfield. Picture: Andrew Milligan

Although the average life expectancy is between one and three years, he has defied the odds to keep battling and his charity, the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation, has raised more than £4million for research into a cure.

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Speaking on the BBC's Breakfast show on Wednesday, he said he was "still living and still smiling".

But he revealed how he had to discuss his future with sons Hamish, Angus and Ben after signing a Do Not Resuscitate document recently.

Weir appeared alongside former footballer Stephen Darby and rugby league star Rob Burrow, who have also been diagnosed with the muscle wasting condition.

He said: "I've been further down the line than these boys. We're on to the next stage and it's all about the kids, and if you're open about your communication.

"I've had to talk to them about DNR - do not resuscitate - so we've just signed a document for that at the moment.

"Actually it was my team behind who explained it, because we might maybe think 'well don't tell them'.

"They said 'look if you've got an issue in the kitchen, they (the kids) come in and the medical staff know this and can't do anything -- they're not doing anything to try and save your dad -- what's the kids going to think?

"So it's with the back up behind the scenes that I have, the medical team that advise me, that just said 'look' -- and they know that we've got a bit of a problem here, they definitely know, they're very helpful -- so you just have to be honest and they took it very well."

Popular figure

One of Scottish sport's most popular figures, Weir won 61 caps for Scotland from 1990 to 2000 and toured with the British and Irish Lions in 1997.

After he was diagnosed with MND in December 2016, doctors said he would be in a wheelchair within a year, but he's still fighting to raise awareness and find a cure. Tragically, he has now been joined by former Bradford City and Bolton Wanderers footballer Darby and ex-Leeds Rhinos star Burrow.

He said: "As a bloke you just think 'I'm fine', but with this that's not quite the case. Basically it's a muscle wasting disease and that's how in the later life of MND it's horrific because you need help everywhere.

"Basically your muscles in your legs disappear so you can't walk; you can't really eat, and then your muscles within your speech disappear so you can't speak; you can't swallow and can't breath so it's horrific what happens.

"Eventually you need help elsewhere and that's why it's a big thing we're campaigning - all three of us are involved in a very special group - and we need help because at the moment there is no cure, it's a terminal illness."

"I need a lot more help than these boys so my good lady (wife Kathy) has to maybe shower me, give me a shave, do my hair. The kids do my hair but not in the same sort of way - they'll give me a Mohican or a side parting and I can't change it - they're quite cheeky that way.

"But it's such a debilitating condition and there's nothing out there that can help any patient with MND. We're here really to put the fight together to try and make a difference."

Burrow, who is worst affected in his voice, told presenter Sally Nugent he is making recordings so that he can continue to tell his children he loves them.

He added: "I'm not giving in, not until my last breath -- too many reasons to live."

Darby said: "When you're playing against opponents you're always looking at ways to beat them and get the better of them and I think that mentality, now we're not playing sport, translates into what we're doing today."

Weir added: "It's a bit like a game in a way. We're trying to beat MND and the only way we're going to win is by collective effort with the boys here and the charities and fundraisers, because us being involved in teamwork understand that the bigger the team the better the result."