The super-fit retired police officer of 30 years was a passionate golfer, swimmer and gym-goer, before his diagnosis took away his ability to do the things he loved.
Married to Val (62), who works part-time coordinating online driving tests, Sandy first noticed something was wrong when he began to experience tremors about a two years ago.
Sandy said, “It was like vibrations were going through my head and down my whole body. I went to the hospital pretty much straight away because it was such a weird feeling. They didn’t know what was happening, so that’s when the investigations began.”
A few months later, in September 2017, Sandy officially received the news that he had MND.
He said “It came as a huge shock. I had heard of MND because one of my colleagues from the police had had it, but I never for a minute thought that’s what I had.
“My arms are almost completely gone now, and my walking is difficult too. I’m finding I get out of breath very quickly, so even trying to walk a little takes it out of me. I use a breathing machine 24 hours a day to help with this. I’m totally dependent on the machine to aid my breathing.”
For MND Action Week 2019, charity MND Scotland is calling on you to imagine what it would be like to have MND and to take action to end MND.
Sandy said, “I’m completely incapacitated. I can’t do anything for myself. I can’t do any of the things I love – all I can do now is sit in front of the TV. I used to golf, go to the gym, swim, walk my dog and I loved my motorbike. Now I have two carers who come in the morning to get me up, washed and dressed and the same in the evening to put me to bed. I can’t lift my arms to hold the phone up for this conversation or use my computer to get online.
“I’m not used to not being able to get out and do things. It’s incredibly frustrating not being able to do even the smallest things. Now I try to make the best of a bad situation, but it’s very difficult. I do have friends who pop in for a chat or take me out for a while and my wife takes me to the MND Scotland support group. Sometimes it’s useful to hear about other people’s experiences, but MND is also so different for everyone.
“We do get support however there’s only so much people can do – they can’t stop it or cure it.
“I want to raise awareness to make people understand what it’s like. A lot of people I speak to have no idea what MND is or all the day-to-day problems it brings. People need to know how disabling it is and that there is no cure. We need a cure – so this MND Action Week I’m asking everyone reading this to make a small donation to MND Scotland.”
For MND Action Week we’re calling on the nation to join us and help us to not just imagine a world without MND, but to make it a reality. To donate £3 to MND Scotland text IMAGINE to 70660 or visit www.mndscotland.org.uk/imagine.