A Worksop woman has become the face of the Motor Neurone Disease Association’s nationwide campaign, #MyEyesSay.
Gemma Middleton, 30, was diagnosed with MND in June last year and prior to her diagnosis Gemma was climbing the career ladder as an environmental consultant and was planning an MBA.
She was fit and healthy, had ran a marathon and loved figure skating.
Post-diagnosis Gemma continues to work but has moved back to her hometown from Cambridge to be close to her family and is planning her wedding to fiancé Joe Gilbert.
The #MyEyesSay campaign shares the real stories of people living with, or bereaved by MND. It also focuses on how the eyes are the window to the soul, and in the latter stages of the disease, may be the only way people with MND can communicate.
Gemma said: “My first symptom was my speech started to get quite slurry and I knew I didn’t quite sound like the normal me. In April/May 2016 my walking changed; I felt like I was really having to think about walking and what my movements were. I knew in myself that something wasn’t right. I wanted to get involved with Awareness Month as not many people know about MND, especially the fact in can affect anybody. I want people to know how devastating the disease is in the hope one day we will find a cure.
“It’s a bit strange but really amazing to finally see the poster myself. All my friends have been seeing them all around the country and texting me the pictures.”
Gemma and her friends and family have been fundraising for the MND Association since her diagnosis and have raised thousands through walks, runs, charity balls, rugby matches and other events.
Chris James, Director for External Affairs at the MND Association said: “Our June Awareness Month is such an important part of the year for us but we never underestimate the courage it takes people to share their stories.”
To find out more about MND and the Awareness Month visit www.mndeyes.org.