I was very sad this morning (Friday) to read of the death of Gordon Aikman.
Gordon had been Director of Research for the Better Together campaign until, early in 2014, he was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease.
He was 28 at the time.
Given that the diagnosis came with a prognosis of 18 months or so of deteriorating quality of life (he managed to live longer…indeed he tweeted a message at the beginning of the year. Hello 2017, I didn’t expect to see you”), he threw himself into making the most of the time he had left, campaigning with politicians for more research into MND and raising money. And he still found time to get married.
He launched a Just Giving page with the target of half a million pounds has now raised more than that. This is what he wrote on it:
I’m dying. And fast.
That – in short – was what my doctor told me when I was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. It is not the news you expect when 29 years old.
MND is a progressive, neurodegenerative condition that eats away at your body until you can no longer walk, talk, eat or breathe for yourself.
There is no cure. Soon it will kill me. That’s why I am doing all I can while I can to raise money for MND Scotland: a great charity that funds research into the disease.
It’ll be too late for me, but we can and we must find a cure for the next generation.
With your help, I can turn a negative into a positive. Please dig deep and donate what you can today. 100% of your donation will be spent on cutting-edge research.
As Humza Yousaf just tweeted, the best way to honour his memory is to make a contribution if you can.
I’ll miss you, Gordon. Your writing was always clever and wise and spirit lifting, even when it was, as it inevitably had to be, sad. You were an inspiration for so many, and you’ll continue to be. Heaven knows whenever I have an ache or pain and feel sorry for myself, I’ll think about you and slap myself out of it. I suspect many other people you’ve inspired will too.