Daniel Fudge-Harman of Key Drummond speaks out about his experience;
Ok, This has taken me over a year to post, something I wish wasn’t happening but feel as though it’s time to share, so here goes. We all think we are immortal and think ‘it won’t happen to me’. Three years ago that was me; beautiful wife, beautiful children and a great life, all was good until I started to suffer from a disease that can only be described as a silent killer, Motor Neurone Disease. A horrible, degenerative disease that eats away at your muscles until such as you can no longer function. This is a terminal disease, no cure, no second chances […] my life will physically become difficult and my time shortened, but like most things I will never give up and will never give in. I hope that someday (really soon would be helpful) a cure will be found but in the meantime we carry on…
EXTRACT FROM DANNY’S FACEBOOK POST
Danny held onto this message for over a year, editing it almost daily. Returning to it as a kind of outlet for all of the things he wanted to say. It sat in the notes on his phone until he decided to finally post it on his personal Facebook page. The pressure of conveying such a difficult subject, to people who had no idea what he had been carrying around with him for almost three years, must have been torturous.
There are so many people out there who don’t know enough about Motor Neurone Disease, we asked Danny to explain it to us?
MND is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks the upper and lower motor neurons. Degeneration of the motor neurons leads to weakness and wasting of muscles, causing increasing loss of mobility in the limbs, and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing. The muscles first affected tend to be those in the hands (which is where mine had started), feet and mouth, dependent on which type of the disease you are diagnosed with.
The effects of MND can vary enormously from person to person, for instance mine is relevantly slow, but from the presenting symptoms, and the rate and pattern of the disease progression, to the length of survival time after diagnosis life expectancy is from two to five years from onset of symptoms.
The disease has wasted the muscle in both my arms which makes the easiest of tasks impossible. Things we all take for granted like, writing, tying shoe laces and turning door keys, which is somewhat of a problem being an estate agent!
Facing life with a terminal illness is hard but that is the hand that I have been dealt. I have learnt so much about myself since my diagnosis mentally, emotionally and physically. I am so lucky to have the support of my family, the fantastic Key Drummond team and amazing friends who have gone above and beyond to help and support me.
My aim is to assist both myself and others in their daily battles against this disease. I recently travelled to Boston, USA to discuss up-and-coming drug trials which I feel could be beneficial for both myself and other local people suffering from MND. This obviously comes at a price, which isn't cheap, but raising money and awareness may just help me or someone else spend more time with loved ones.
It is not only the medical aspect I want to assist with, it is also the day-to-day activities that other people take for granted and which MND sufferers can no longer carry out. For instance I have experienced, and continue to battle, the loss of independence and how this disease can isolate you both physically and mentally. I am lucky to have the support around me enabling me to travel around locally or just simply have a day out - others are not so lucky. I would like part of my funding to go towards helping these people to enjoy their life by purchasing equipment to support and aid them. I want to assist these people to have days out to enjoy their shortened time and not be restricted due to the lack of independence or financial support.
Finally I want all MND sufferers to believe in themselves, to never give up and never give in.