Like most people I was devastated to hear the sad news that Stephen Hawking had passed away. For me the loss of such an inspirational person tugged heavily my heartstrings for several reasons.
As someone who grew up with aviation and “my head in the clouds”, like Stephen I was fascinated with the cosmos and spaceflight, like Stephen I have always looked up to the stars.
I was intrigued by Stephen’s work, his limitless knowledge and boundless imagination.
I bought my copy of “A Brief History of Time” as soon as it was published, and yes I did read it from cover to cover and still own it today. Although I will be honest and say that I didn’t understand most of it. However, it did make me realise how little I knew and underlined just how brilliant Stephen was.
Stephen also introduced me to Motor Neurone Disease. What was this debilitating condition and how could anyone fight its suffocating grip? I was curious to say the least, especially with his resolve to expand his capability, never being constrained.
My wife is a self-confessed “Trekkie” and sometimes I indulged her by watching episodes together.
When my hero appeared in the episode of Next Generation playing himself opposite Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, it not only served to emphasise his limitless ability but also presented me with the opportunity to lecture my family about his works and his approach to life.
Like a lot of children of the time our boys were big fans of the Simpsons and his appearance yet again showed that there was no boundary to what could be achieved whilst opening his skills to yet another generation.
What brilliance, what talent and such sense of humour. All of this and MND!
Being fascinated with Stephen I watched the movie “The Theory of Everything” together with my wife Shirley, which only served to grow my curiosity of what drove this great man.
It was therefore one of those bizarre twists of fate that shortly after watching the film at the beginning of 2016, and after a prolonged period of muscular discomfort and instability, I was also diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, being handed the same life expectancy initially given to Stephen.
With everything I had experienced in my life I had never ever contemplated a life changing condition, let alone one as cruel as MND.
As it is in my nature, I analysed my response turning once again to the great Professor for inspiration.
Two years later, supported by my wife, family and MND Scotland, I am still charged with the same stubborn resolve Stephen instilled in me on my journey through life.
I am truly saddened by his loss, but know that he is continuing his adventure through the cosmos, and continuing to inspire multitudes with his vision and inspiration.
I know that one day we will join him on that journey to the stars, I know that one day we will cure MND. Thank you Stephen, thank you MND Scotland.
add your comment
Find out how we can support you if you are affected by MND
Help us support people affected by MND and fund vital research
Become a volunteer, join a campaign or share your experience
We are funding research that is taking us a step closer to a cure