"I would say to people to enjoy family time and make memories. Live life."

“The most challenging thing for me is living with the daily knowledge that you have MND and it’s a terminal issue. Despite everyone’s best efforts there is still no cure, so when you have got MND you are told to sit in a corner and that’s you till you disappear and die.

The game of rugby has taught me to fight for what you believe in, fight for yourself, challenge yourself, give yourself goals, realistic goals.  I think my attitude has a lot to do with the rugby training. Sometimes admitting that you need a little bit of help can be tough.  It’s great to help people but can be difficult to be helped. That was a big change for me initially.

I played rugby in Melrose and Newcastle, I was lucky as I was very tall. I played for Scotland for maybe 10 years and then the British Lions tour of ‘97 and got a bit injured so came home. Never mind the rugby – l’m a games champion, I got to throw the welly the furthest. I’m still welly throwing champion.

Since I got diagnosed two and a half years ago, that’s possibly the last time my consultant has spoken to me on a professional basis, as in a doctor to patient way, and that to me has been very frustrating. My battle at the moment is to try and make a change, try and give people living with MND – myself and others – a drug or something that will help us live longer and not have the horrific end of life that most people do.

I set up the ‘My Name’5 Doddie’ Foundation and the support from the game of rugby and wider has just been so truly amazing. We have had about 700 functions in 20 months. We’ve been able to spend over 3 million pounds because it’s money we have raised. That’s £2.5 million on research and £500,000 on helping people with MND.

I never really let MND get in the way of things.  I’m quite adamant about that, for example two months ago I went rally driving, just so I can say I could still do it.

I would say to people to enjoy family time and make memories. Live life. Right now I’m finding that I’ve never been invited to so many parties!  Enjoy today and worry about tomorrow when it comes.”

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