Tackling MND with Doddie
November 2018 marked the first anniversary of the launch of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation. The charity was set up following former Scotland lock Doddie Weir’s diagnosis with Motor Neurone Disease.
The aims of the Foundation are to help find a cure for MND, raise awareness of the disease and support those affected by Motor Neurone Disease. Since the Foundation was launched at the Scotland v New Zealand match at BT Murrayfield last autumn – when Doddie presented the match-ball to the cheers of the capacity crowd, both teams and millions watching on TV – the global rugby community and wider public who have been touched by Doddie’s humanity and determination, have undertaken a wealth of fundraising activity.
"It has been an incredible year,” says Doddie.
“We had no idea just how much support we would receive and it is humbling to see the efforts of people from all over the world, all walks of life, who are pulling together to help us tackle MND.
“We have seen people stage rugby matches, auctions, dinners, golf days and tractor rallies. Schools have got behind us with innovative and inspiring events, individuals and teams have climbed mountains, ran marathons, cycled the length and breadth of the country and had a lot of fun along the way. It is simply amazing.”
You can read about some of the incredible feats of fundraising that are taking place on the Foundation’s website. One such example is Phil Calvert, a former Watsonians player who is well on the way to running a marathon distance every week for 52 weeks to raise funds for Doddie.
Another individual who is going the extra mile is Sebastian Hurst, who is attempting to lift the famous Dinnie Steens (two giant rocks) at the same time with his bare hands. The combined weight of the stones is 333kg. Hurst admits that the training is taking its toll, with headaches, muscle soreness and torn skin on his hands but says “It is all worth it. I am motivated by how Doddie has tackled MND head on. His proactive attitude in incredible – he is a real inspiration.”
Earlier this year Scottish Rugby welcomed My Name’5 Doddie as one of its official charity partners. On 3 November, Wales and Scotland faced each other at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff for the Doddie Weir Cup, which the hosts claimed.
At the Scotland v South Africa match, the Foundation marked its first anniversary by announcing that it has committed £1million to research projects to find a cure for Motor Neurone Disease and to support those affected by this terrible disease. It is now working on its next phase of investment and consulting with the medical and research community to find out how to best support their efforts.
I am determined to keep campaigning to help find a cure and together, I believe we can make a difference,” said Doddie.
To find out more and support the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, please log on to myname5doddie.co.uk