Campaigner backs charity call for MND research cash boost

Date published: 01 June 2021

A motor neurone disease campaigner has joined forces with a coalition of charities and neurologists to call on the Government to target £50 million of investment into the terminal illness.

Along with more than 100,000 people, Greg Broadhurst has signed a petition calling for the Government ‘to significantly increase targeted research for motor neurone disease (MND)’.

Government funding for MND research, according to the Motor Neurone Disease Association, currently stands at less than £5 million a year.

The charity itself has recently committed £5.7 million to research this year.

The campaign, United To End MND, led by the MND Association, MND Scotland, My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, neurologists and people with the disease, is calling on the government to invest £50 million over five years in research directly targeted at understanding the causes and identifying potential treatments and ultimately a cure for the disease.

MND affects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord which tell your muscles what to do.

This leads the muscles to weaken, stiffen and waste.

MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and, ultimately, breathe.

It is a terminal illness with no effective treatments and no cure.

The petition launched by the coalition to garner public support gathered more than 100,000 signatures in just three weeks, meaning the topic will now be considered for a debate in Parliament.

Greg Broadhurst is Branch Chair of the Manchester and District Branch of the MND Association, and has received campaign support previously from Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams.

Greg said: "Having lost a family member to Motor Neurone Disease, seeing the long term scar it left on my family, and having known lots of other families living with MND in my time as a volunteer / campaigner at the branch, I know how hard the disease is to cope with.

"Securing more funding for research is essential, so we can ensure people have the chance to live longer and a good quality life, not have their life cut short by this awful disease."

The campaign has the backing of a number of VIPs, who have encouraged support on Twitter, including Coronation Street vicar Daniel Brocklebank, film star Hugh Grant, GMB presenter Charlotte Hawkins, entrepreneur and ‘Dragon’ Deborah Meaden, broadcaster Jeremy Vine and former sportsmen who are living with MND; Scottish rugby international Doddie Weir and footballer Stephen Darby.

Oldham rugby legend Kevin Sinfield (see picture above) ran an incredible seven marathons in seven days for his friend and former team mate Rob Burrow late last year, in the end raising an amazing £2million-plus for him and his family and research into MND.

Oldham-born Sinfield was hoping to raise £77,777 for Burrow, who is suffering from Motor Neurone Disease, and began his challenge on December 1 last year.

Seven days and seven marathons later he completed the quest, but the money continued to pour into his Crowd Funding page.

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