Labour leader donates fees to MND Scotland


​Charity campaigner Gordon Aikman praises MSP's generosity.

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23rd December 2015 by Graham Martin 2 Comments

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has given an early Christmas present of £13,000 to charity MND Scotland.

She handed over a cheque for the sum to campaigner Gordon Aikman.

The MSP donated the fees for her weekly Daily Record column and her appearance on the University Challenge Christmas special.

Mr Aikman was diagnosed with motor neurone disease last year at the age of 29. He has since raised over £413,000 for MND Scotland through his Gordon's Fightback campaign.

Kez did not need to do this. She could have pocketed the cash and spent it on herself

Ms Dugdale and Mr Aikman have been friends for over a decade, first meeting when they were both students at the University of Edinburgh.

He said: “Kez did not need to do this. She could have easily – and many others do – pocketed the cash and spent it on herself.

"I cannot thank her enough. I am in no doubt that Kez's selfless generosity will bring forward the day we find a cure for the thing that is killing me.

"It will be too late for me but we can and we must find a cure for future generations."

Ms Dugdale said: "MND is a horrible disease. I have watched on helplessly as it slowly kills my closest friend. Raising money to support those with MND and to invest in research for a cure is a way to do my bit.

"MND patients shouldn't be relying on charity to get extra help. Thanks to Gordon's campaign the number of specialised MND nurses in Scotland has doubled.

“Yet many patients still go without vital communication aids, the amount we invest in MND research as a nation just isn't good enough and too many carers earn less than the living wage to provide vital support. Every political party should set out clear plans for changing all of that in advance of next year's election.

"This isn't just about Gordon - as he has said himself, any major medical advances will be too late for him. Investing in MND research now can help find a cure for the patients of the future.”

6th January 2016 by JOHN

So this phrase 'patients shouldn't have to rely on charity' has been prominent lately. Of course the NHS and social services should provide the care people need however Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie and the hospice movement (who practically invented the discipline of palliative care), with others, have demonstrated in cancer that charity expertise can not only add but transform services including those in the NHS. Lest we forget.

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