The My Name’5 Doddie Foundation has donated a total of £300,000 (about $420,600) to two U.K. nonprofits to support people living with motor neuron diseases (MND), including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The foundation, established by the former Scottish rugby player George Wilson “Doddie” Weir, gave £200,000 to the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association and £100,000 to MND Scotland. The organizations will use the money to help families cover some of the expenses that often accompany an MND diagnosis.
Support will be in the form of grants that families can use in relevant ways, ranging from home adaptations such as ramps and stairlifts to a break or vacation from caregiving.
Weir was diagnosed with MND in 2017.
His foundation has supported these organizations annually since 2018, and recently made extra contributions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These newest donations bring total support to date for the MND Association to £670,000, and for MND Scotland to £380,000.
“We are really pleased and grateful that Doddie is channeling money raised by his foundation in the last year into our care grants program once again, ensuring it goes directly to people affected by MND who desperately need it,” Sally Light, CEO of the MND Association for England, Wales, and Scotland, said in a press release.
“We have a long-standing and comprehensive program which we know makes a difference, and support like Doddie’s and that of his foundation’s supporters is vital to us continuing with that,” added Light.
Soon after his diagnosis, Weir established the foundation to raise funds for research into MND and to provide grants to help others with the condition. Weir, now 50, earned 61 caps, or international rugby appearances for Scotland, during his decade-long career.
“We are delighted to continue and further strengthen our relationships with the MND Association and MND Scotland by working with both these charities to support people living with motor neuron disease. This commitment by Doddie and the foundation to help patients and families is one of our main strategic goals,” said Jill Douglas, the foundation’s CEO.
“I’d like to thank the foundation for its ongoing support of our grants program which allows us to provide essential support to the families affected by this devastating disease,” said Adrian Murphy, MND Scotland’s chairperson.
“Since his own diagnosis, Doddie has raised an incredible amount of awareness by sharing his personal journey with MND, and through his foundation has raised vital funds to support the cause. By continuing to work together we can help make life a little easier for people living with MND right now,” Murphy added.
About 5,000 people in the U.K. are living with MND, and an estimated 1,100 are diagnosed annually.
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