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‘We couldn’t do this alone’: How north-east family raised £100,000 for MND Scotland

Kerry Milne's mother and sister have been tirelessly fundraising for MND Scotland, and have celebrated a momentous £100,000. 
Photography by aberdeenphoto.com
Kerry Milne's mother and sister have been tirelessly fundraising for MND Scotland, and have celebrated a momentous £100,000. Photography by aberdeenphoto.com

A family have marked the momentous milestone of raising more than £100,000 for MND Scotland – 10 years after losing a loved one to the disease.

Kerry Milne’s mother and sister, Pamela Semple and Leanne Sinclair, have been fundraising tirelessly for the charity since 2011.

When Kerry was 29, she was the youngest person in Scotland to be diagnosed with the condition.

It stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles, which makes them weaken and eventually stop working – causing issues with walking, talking and breathing.

Five months after receiving the diagnosis, Kerry passed away. Her wish was for her family to continue raising vital funds for research into a cure.

Bosses at the charity have now praised their “tireless” efforts, with their fundraising total topping £100,000.

‘We couldn’t do this without family and friends’

Three weeks after receiving the news in January 2011, Kerry opened a JustGiving page hoping to raise awareness and collect charity donations.

Her original goal was to raise £5,000 and, before she died, she asked her sister and mother to carry on the fundraising.

Friends gathered at Touch of Sparkle to raise funds for MND Scotland. Photography by aberdeenphoto.com

Just a few weeks ago, to hit the target, the family organised A Touch Of Sparkle at the Chester Hotel in Aberdeen, with 280 women enjoying an evening of games and dancing.

Pamela and Leanne have also organised race and bingo nights, quizzes, and even gone down to Millport every year for the last ten years as part of MND Scotland’s walking and cycling event.

Pamela said: “I feel amazed, and sort of proud, but we’ve got so many people behind us that have supported us over the years, like family and close friends.”

Leanne added: “We’ve definitely got a big core group of people that help support every single fundraiser that we do.

“A lot of people have been with us for the whole 10 years.

“We definitely wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”

‘Kerry sparkled through our lives too soon’

The ladies’ night was named A Touch Of Sparkle in honour of Kerry, with guests dressing up in sequins and sparkles.

Pamela said: “We said Kerry sort of sparkled through our lives too soon.”

Kerry Milne, pictured, was the youngest person to be diagnosed with MND at 29 back in 2011. Photo supplied by Kerry Milne’s family.

She added: “Kerry was the youngest person in Scotland to have motor neuron disease at that time.

“The only thing we knew about motor neuron at the time was Stephen Hawking—we knew nothing about the illness.”

MND affects around two in every 100,000 people in the UK each year, and there are about 5,000 people currently living with the condition.

‘So many people have been inspired’

MND Scotland’s head of fundraising, Iain McWhirter, has praised Kerry’s family and friends for their generous efforts.

He said: “So many people have been inspired by Kerry’s story, going on to run marathons, 10ks, cycles, organising bingo nights and ladies’ days, to raise much-needed funds.

“The Touch of Sparkle Ladies Day raised £10,000 which took the total raised in Kerry’s memory to an incredible £100,000.

“We cannot thank everyone involved enough.”

How can I get involved?

Iain says, without supporters like Kerry Milne’s family and friends, MND Scotland would not be able to continue providing life-changing support to people living with the condition.

The funds also go towards the ground-breaking research in the search for a cure.

For more information on MND, visit MND Scotland.

To find out more about Kerry’s wish, and donate to her family’s fundraiser visit her JustGiving page.

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