A friend of mine is suffering from a nasty, progressive condition called Motor Neurone Disease. There are many forms, all of which share the common trait of affecting the motor neurons which control walking, speaking, breathing and general movement. In the US it is often called ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Prognosis varies, but the average time from diagnosis to death is 14 months.

The exact symptoms will change over time, getting progressively worse. The problem is that treatment and care provided in the UK rarely keeps pace with the pace of the disease. The Motor Neurone Disease Association is organising a petition calling for a national strategy for MND – at the core of which is an attempt to redefine the type of care required, rather than relying on the same services who provide care for the elderly. You can get more involved if you wish, but at the very least taking a couple of minutes to sign the petition may well help.