Melanie’s mum, Carol Bowie, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in November 2018, passing away from the illness less then a year later in November 2019.
MND is a rapidly progressing terminal illness, which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles. This may cause someone to lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, drink or breathe unaided.
Melanie’s son, Leighton (13) plays for the local team, which is managed by her partner, Joe Napier. Now the team is drawing inspiration from SPFL side, Heart of Midlothian FC, which recently selected MND Scotland as their front of shirt partner, after former captain Marius Žaliūkas died from the disease last year.
Melanie said: “I’m really proud of Leighton, Joe, and all of the team for flying the flag for MND Scotland on their strips for this season.
“My mum was diagnosed with MND on 23rd November 2018 at the age of 55. She died less than a year later, on 16th November 2019.
“MND Scotland provided grants which allowed my mum to enjoy two of her last holidays with family. We were able to take her to Berwick and to MND Scotland’s special accessible lodge near St Andrews – memories we will forever be grateful for.
“Mum also wanted to help research into MND, so she donated her brain and spinal cord to the Brain Bank at Edinburgh University – which is also funded by the charity.
“The money raised to have the strips printed is being donated to the charity by Raymond Ogg at OGGYPRINT. The team will be fundraising for the charity as well.”
Over the years Melanie and her family members have taken on a raft of fundraising challenges to support the charity and fund future MND research.
Melanie continued: “Leighton and I regularly organise fundraising for the charity. We’ve done a hill climb, Leighton wanted to do the ‘Ice Foot 92’ challenge – where you have to stand in ice water which can simulate the loss of feeling and control in limbs that MND can cause – and we also ran 100 miles between us in January. Every year, myself and my sister Melissa also use our birthdays to raise funds online for the cause”.
Iain McWhirter, Head of Fundraising at MND Scotland, said: “I want to thank Melanie, Joe, Leighton and all the team at the Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts (2008) for their support of MND Scotland.
“Awareness of motor neurone disease is vital if we are to bring people together to fight back against this devastating disease.
“MND Scotland is powered by community fundraisers like Melanie. It’s because of people like her that we’re able to change lives every day and fund research and clinical trials to find new treatments. Together, we’ll beat MND.”
Iain McWhirter | Head of Fundraising