Bill shares his story on awareness week

Bill McLaren with his wife Sue and their son Chris, Chris' wife Angela, their daughter Bethany, and sons James  and Adam
Bill McLaren with his wife Sue and their son Chris, Chris' wife Angela, their daughter Bethany, and sons James and Adam

An Ellon man has decided to share his story of living with Motor Neurone Disease during MND Awareness Week.

Bill McLaren was diagnosed with the terminal illness three years ago and has decided to share his story to raise awareness of the illness, and the misconceptions and stigmas surrounding it.

Bill retired at 62, not primarily because of the illness, although its effects were becoming evident.

He said, “I noticed something was wrong with my left foot in 2000. I had developed Type 2 diabetes in my early 50s, so assumed this was related to the onset of this disease.

“I then started to develop a stammer and my daughter had encouraged me to visit my GP to get checked out. She had suspected something amiss, but also thought it might be diabetes linked.

“I had to go into hospital in 2015 as I developed Trigeminal Neuralgia, a chronic pain disorder. A consultant was able to bring it under control and in the process, was able to diagnose I had slow progressive MND.

“My wife Sue has been the heroine of the piece and knows how to manage my foibles, always there to support me, not hovering around me - just there when it matters.”

He added: “Sometimes people are simply unaware of what MND means, expecting to see you in a wheelchair. I have difficulty walking and find I am often almost barged over by someone desperate to reach their destination and quite visibly annoyed I am in the way.

“I have received a great deal of support from MND Scotland, talking to someone who understands the disease and what the stages represent, how delay tactics can be applied. It has been invaluable to meet up with other MND affected people and their families at my local support group, to take advantage of the massage facility, obtain advice on specialist equipment and other organisations providing supporting activities.

“I cannot express my gratitude sufficiently to everyone for everything done for me and my family, to make this period of my life easier to navigate.”