Viv’s husband Tony was working at a hospice in Leicestershire when he began to notice a problem with his grip. Having seen people with MND at work, Tony thought he knew what was wrong.
“Being a grandma is the best thing that has happened to me but it’s tinged with sadness because Tony is not here to share the experience.”
Tony finally had his fears confirmed by a diagnosis in January 2013. But thanks to the full support of the hospice, he was able to carry on working, while Viv changed her work schedule to lend more support.
MND had a huge financial impact on the family and they had to use their pension to build an extension so Tony could remain at home.
Together with daughters Katie and Sophie, they dealt with MND by being positive and open with their wider family and friends.
Tony knew that his daughter Katie was pregnant with his first grandchild. On the day he died, he also found out that Sophie was expecting her first child.
Tony’s death in hospital was peaceful and the family say that positive experience has helped them in the difficult days since. Viv and her girls are now busy enjoying two babies who will never meet their granddad.
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.