Motor neurone disease: The campaign work of Doddie Weir and Scotland's other MND heroes deserves our support – Angus Robertson

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His passing has seen mourning across Scotland, the UK, and the global rugby community. The cruelty of motor neurone disease is unfathomable to most, but the Scottish rugby international legend Doddie Weir demonstrated the unbreakable courage and fortitude in facing the disease as he did against opposition players in the 62 matches he played for his country.

His campaign to increase awareness of MND and fund research has, to date, raised £8 million. The My Name'5 Doddie Foundation will continue its fantastic work, building on the colossal base set while Doddie was alive. His work is a demonstration of what one can do in even the most exacting of circumstances, when the end of one’s life is in sight.

Of course, Doddie is one of many who have experienced or are experiencing MND, and not the first to be campaigning to raise awareness and money. These include Gordon Aikman, an inspirational campaigner who died at 31, and the Scottish entrepreneur Euan MacDonald, who has been contributing enormously to the issue since his diagnosis in 2003 at the age of 29.

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The Euan MacDonald Centre, established by its namesake and his father Donald and based in Edinburgh University, is internationally renowned and conducted research into drug efficacy, quality of living, and greater understanding of the disease that has made a real difference to the lives of those with MND, their families, friends and support circles. Scotland’s MND heroes all deserve our respect and support.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

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