MOTOR Neurone Disease campaigner Gordon Aikman has died aged 31.
The former Labour adviser was diagnosed with the terminal condition in 2014 and launched Gordon’s Fightback, successfully lobbying First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to double the number of MND nurses and fund them through the NHS.
He also raised over £500,000 for research to help fund a cure for the muscle-wasting disease.
He received a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s 2015 Birthday Honours and an honorary doctorate from Edinburgh University for his work to transform care for people with MND and efforts to find a cure.
Mr Aikman, who lived at Meadowbank, married political journalist Joe Pike at a ceremony in the Capital in 2015.
In a statement, his family said: “We are heartbroken. Gordon was beautiful, kind, funny and utterly determined. He achieved more in the few short years after his diagnosis with MND than many of us do in a lifetime. Gordon’s campaigning and fundraising has truly inspired people, changed lives across Scotland and we are so proud of him. We will miss him terribly.”
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said she was “utterly bereft” at the news.
She said: “Although we all knew time was precious, Gordon’s death comes as a shock.
“I have lost a best friend and the world has lost a man who made it a better place.
“The wedding of Gordon and Joe was one of the happiest days of my life.
“I will miss Gordon’s smile, his laugh, his energy, his brilliant dance moves and terrible singing voice, and his positive outlook on life despite the hand he was dealt towards the end.
“I will miss his advice and I will miss campaigning with him to advance the causes dear to us. “Gordon’s constant determination to do good for others was an antidote to a world so full of fear and anger. I hope that will be his legacy.”