As well as enjoying a busy social life, Dave was a keen runner and met his now-wife Paula at their local running club. Seeing himself as the leader of the pack, he used to slow down and run at the back of the group to keep everyone safe and motivated.
Dave’s love of running also saw him complete more than 30 marathons and other extreme challenges, often in fancy dress – Mrs Brown was a particular favourite.
“We want to help people to understand that yes, you’ve got MND but it’s not the end of the world, you can still have a fulfilled life and you can still enjoy your life.”
Dave noticed a twitching in his arm, which he put down to a trapped nerve. However, when this didn’t change after a few months, he visited his GP and was eventually diagnosed with MND in October 2015.
Despite the initial shock, Dave and Paula decided to be positive and live their life together to the full.
Living with MND
Dave completed two more marathons after his diagnosis and proposed to Paula; eventually getting married in July 2016.
The couple dedicate a lot of time to fundraising for the local hospice and the MND Association, while Paula also volunteers as a committee member at her Northamptonshire Branch.
As his MND progresses, Dave can no longer walk but supports Paula with all of her fundraising activities. Dave’s running club friends even pushed him in his wheelchair around the Milton Keynes Half Marathon this year.
Now MND has begun to affect Dave’s speech too, but he continues to “always look on the bright side of life”.
Gemma dreamed of climbing the career ladder as an environmental consultant and was planning to do an MBA. However, after experiencing slurred speech and difficulty walking, she was diagnosed with MND aged just 29. Gemma continues to work, with support from her employer, fiancé and family. She has also been fundraising for the MND Association and Sheffield Institute of Translation Neuroscience (SITraN).
Dave had taken part in more than 30 marathons (often in fancy dress) when he received the devastating diagnosis of MND. But Dave hasn’t let it hold him back and with his “always look on the bright side of life” philosophy, the 63-year-old ran a further two marathons and proposed to his now-wife Paula.
Viv’s husband Tony was working in a local hospice in 2011 when he began experiencing problems with his grip. He thought it might be MND but it took until 2013 for a diagnosis. At the same time, Tony found out he was going to be a granddad for the first time as both his daughters became pregnant. But tragically, Tony died before the baby boys were born in 2016.