A WIRRAL mum diagnosed with motor neurone disease is calling on the Government to invest £50million for research into the terminal illness.

Sue Hardy has joined forces with a coalition of charities, neurologists and people with the disease as part of a campaign to increase research.

Along with more than 100,000 people Sue, 67 from Greasby, has signed a petition calling for the Government ‘to significantly increase targeted research for motor neurone disease’.

The petition gathered more than 100,000 signatures in just three weeks, meaning the topic will now be considered for a debate in Parliament.

Government funding for MND research, according to the MND Association, currently stands at less than £5 million a year. The charity itself has recently committed £5.7 million to research this year.

Sue, a mum of two who was diagnosed 17 months ago, said: "Seventeen months ago I received the devastating news that I have MND.

"Both my legs have now deteriorated and my only way of getting around is by use of my wheelchair. I'm no longer able to drive and therefore have lost my independence.”

"Due to my inactivity I have DVT in both legs and lungs and have to inject blood thinning drugs into my stomach twice a day which can be very painful.

"Fortunately MND hasn’t affected my speech, eating or breathing - or my sense of humour and I’m so lucky to have a strong support network.

"It is vital that the Government urgently puts much more money into research to find a cure for this awful disease so that others do not have to live with it in future."

The campaign, United To End MND, led by the MND Association, MND Scotland, My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, neurologists and people with the disease, is calling on the government to invest £50 million over five years in research directly targeted at understanding the causes and identifying potential treatments and ultimately a cure for the disease.

MND affects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord which tell your muscles what to do. This leads the muscles to weaken, stiffen and waste. MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and, ultimately, breathe. It is a terminal illness with no effective treatments and no cure.

For more information about the campaign visit www.mndassociation.org/unitedtoend

Facts about motor neurone disease (MND):    

  • MND is a fatal, rapidly progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord.  
  • It attacks the nerves that control movement so muscles no longer work. MND does not usually affect the senses such as sight, sound, feeling etc.   
  • It can leave people locked in a failing body, unable to move, talk and eventually breathe.  
  • Over 80% of people with MND will have communication difficulties, including for some, a complete loss of voice.   
  • It affects people from all communities.  
  • Around 35% of people with MND experience mild cognitive change, in other words, changes in thinking and behaviour. A further 15% of people show signs of frontotemporal dementia which results in more pronounced behavioural change.   
  • It kills a third of people within a year and more than half within two years of diagnosis.   
  • A person’s lifetime risk of developing MND is around 1 in 300.  
  • Six people per day are diagnosed with MND in the UK.   
  • It affects up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time.   
  • It kills six people per day in the UK, this is just under 2,200 per year   
  • It has no cure.