A Spalding mum-of-three is honouring her dad’s memory by raising awareness of the condition which ended his life.
Hannah Harris (35), of Horseshoe Road, took her campaign to highlight motor neurone disease (MND) to the heart of county government when she met Lincolnshire County Council members on Friday.
The incurable disease, which attacks nerves in the brain and spinal cord to cause muscle weakness, loss of mobility, speech, swallowing and breathing difficulties, claimed the life of Hannah’s dad Mick Smith in 2015.
Hannah said: “Dad became very poorly and started to lose the ability to use his hands about nine months before he died.
“He kept going to the doctors, only to be turned away every time because they said nothing was wrong with him.
“The most frustrating part was that Dad moved from his home in Long Sutton to Yorkshire where he was diagnosed as having MND in March 2015 while he was living with his sister,
I’m so passionate about this that I’ve become a qualified MND Association visitor, getting to meet families of people with MND in order to help themHannah Harris, of Spalding
“I’m so passionate about this that I’ve become a qualified MND Association visitor, getting to meet families of people with MND in order to help them.”
County councillors agreed to adopt an MND Charter, which South Holland District Council signed up to in 2014, committing themselves to five points to help raise awareness of the condition.
Points in the Charter include “the right to an early diagnosis and information, access to quality care and treatments, to be treated as individuals, with dignity and respect and to maximise their quality of life”.
County councillor Angela Newton, who represents Hannah as member for Spalding West ward, said: “The MND Charter is a statement of respect, care and support that people living with MND and their carers deserve and should expect.
“I am delighted our council has agreed to adopt the MND Charter as it is vital that more people are aware of the needs of people with MND so those living with this devastating disease can maximise their quality of life and die with dignity.”
Chris James, Director of External Affairs for the MND Association, said: “The importance of the MND Charter is undeniable.
“We want everyone to be clear that access to the right care, in the right place and at the right time, as set out in our Charter, can transform lives.”