MND is a disease that attacks your Motor Neurones or nerves to the extent that they stop functioning properly causing your muscles to no longer work. As your muscles stop working they weaken and waste until you can no longer use them. The disease essentially attacks your body by preventing your nerves from giving signals to your muscles. It’s a lot more complicated than that but that is what happens.
MND can affect any of your basic functions, whether it is walking, talking, eating, drinking and finally breathing. It affects people differently and some will suffer from symptoms for a long time and be manageable whilst for others like my mum the degeneration of muscles can be quite fast until your body essentially fails on you and you stop breathing.
My mum was finally diagnosed with MND in December 2010 after years of tests to find out what was going wrong. It had all started with a pain in her mouth or burning mouth that was only sated by Sauvignon Blanc. Or at least that was what mum said as she drank another glass . After more tests and attempted treatments it was finally concluded that MND was the cause and that this was another battle she would have to face.
She passed away in August 2012 at home as peacefully as you can hope for; with her husband, my dad, there to look after her. She fought the disease with great strength, incredible resolve and never let it get the better of her; maintaining her sense of humour and lust for life throughout.
Her funeral was a wonderful occasion with so many friends from so many walks of life who had been touched by my mum along the way all sharing stories and anecdotes that more often than not ended in laughter that could be heard throughout the party.
My sister read a beautiful eulogy with strength that could only have been drawn from our mum. Nobody else could have delivered it and done mum justice like my sister did so I want to thank her for her incredible courage.
My mum is missed by all of us and will continue to be missed but we are also thankful for all the great times we had and will continue to have for she lives on in all our hearts. Memories of family holidays, hosting parties at the house, run ins with customer service people and many far too private to mention here will all provide us succour in the tough times ahead.
One thing is for sure, when we get to Marlborough in New Zealand we will be raising a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in her memory. And for what it’s worth, Mum drank that stuff before it was cool!
Before I encountered MND in such a personal way I never really knew much about it other than it was a pretty nasty acronym. For those that want to know more about MND please look at the MNDA website as they have some really useful information for those who are suffering or for those who know somebody is suffering. They do their very best and hopefully we can drive some more money their way so that they can help more people.