Gordon Aikman

Gordon Aikman, MND patient and campaigner, has passed away at the age of 31 after a three year battle with Motor Neurone Disease. We looked back at some of his achievements over the years.

Gordon Aikman

Posted : 20/02/2017

Gordon Aikman, MND patient and campaigner, has passed away at the age of 31 after a three year battle with Motor Neurone Disease. We looked back at some of his achievements over the years.

Gordon was born in Kirkcaldy in 1985 and attended Kirkcaldy High School. After graduating from the University of Edinburgh with an MA in Business, he was elected Vice President of Edinburgh University Students’ Association.

Prior to his diagnosis Gordon worked in a range of research, policy and communications roles for the Scottish Labour Party. In 2012 he was appointed as Director of Research for the Better Together campaign in the Scottish independence referendum. He lived in Edinburgh with his husband Joe Pike, author and broadcast journalist.

Gordon received his devastating diagnosis in February 2014 and since then selflessly devoted the time he had left to not only fundraising to find a cure for MND but also to help raise awareness of the disease to unprecedented levels.

Through his Fightback campaign Gordon achieved much over the past three years including:

  • Raised £550,000 for MND research
  • Securing the doubling of MND nurses, as well as their funding through the NHS - a move that has transformed care for people with MND in Scotland
  • Helping secure legislation that guarantees people a right to a voice if they lose theirs - there is now a legal duty on the NHS to provide equipment and support to people who lose their voices through conditions like MND
  • British Empire Medal in the Queen Birthday Honours List 2015
  • Honorary Doctorate from the University of Edinburgh
  • Alongside other campaigners, securing a commitment from the Scottish Government to pay carers the Living Wage
  • The first Sunday of every month Gordon wrote a column for the Sunday Times entitled The Motor Neurone Diaries
  • Joint winner of the SCVO Charity Champion award 2016

CEO of MND Scotland, Craig Stockton, said: “Everyone at MND Scotland is deeply saddened to hear of Gordon’s passing.

“Although Gordon was diagnosed with a terminal illness, this has still come as a shock to us all. I feel privileged to have known Gordon and to have worked alongside him on MND Scotland’s Board of Trustees.

“In the face of a devastating diagnosis, at the age of just 29, Gordon turned his grief into a drive to fight for the rights of others affected and to fund a cure. In addition to his campaigning and fundraising efforts, Gordon has played a pivotal role in raising awareness of MND and the daily challenges people with the illness can face, through his own personal experiences.

“Gordon raised over £500,000 for MND Scotland which has been invested into cutting-edge research to find a cure.

“Gordon Aikman has been an inspiration to so many people across Scotland, not just to those affected by MND, but far beyond that.

“We cannot thank Gordon enough for everything he has done not only for the charity but for everyone affected by MND in Scotland."

Lawrence Cowan was a close friend of Gordon’s and is Chair of MND Scotland. He said: “Gordon was extraordinary. He united people to achieve amazing things. He transformed MND care in Scotland and set the agenda on the need to invest in MND research. His legacy will be felt in hospitals and labs up and down the country for years to come.

“Like everyone who loved him I am grieving. But thanks to Gordon’s inspirational approach to life I am more determined than ever to turn that grief into good.”

We are thrilled that on 22nd February 2017 the Scottish Government announced a new £25,000 scholarship is to be set up in honour of Gordon. The Gordon Aikman Scholarship will fund individuals and professionals to develop practical improvements in the way people with MND are cared for. 

If anyone would like to support Gordon’s efforts to fund a cure for MND please donate at GordonsFightback.com or text MNDS85 £10 to 70070. 

quote marks

“I want to do everything I can, while I can, to cure MND for future generations.”

Gordon Aikman (left) with his husband Joe Pike

Gordon Aikman (left) with his husband Joe Pike

Sign-up for our email newsletter

Sign up to receive emails about our latest news, events, campaigns and services.