Grandmother tells of her fight against MND

Marlene Sim with her husband Bob
Marlene Sim with her husband Bob

A former Inverurie woman has reflected on how life has changed for her and her family one year after her Motor Neurone Disease (MND) diagnosis.

Marlene Sim lived in Inverurie for 15 years before moving to Forfar with her husband Bob and children Andrew and Ashley.

About a year before her diagnosis Marlene started to notice something wasn’t quite right as she explained: “I had had a couple of falls but just put it down to being clumsy, then Bob said to me a few times ‘stop dragging your foot when you’re walking, pick it up’ and I just couldn’t.

“I liked walking a lot and I was finding it more difficult as time went on. So that’s when I think I realised something was wrong and decided to go to the doctors to get it checked.

“I spent a year having tests done because there is no test for MND and to this day I am still surprised at how well I am handling the diagnosis and how accepting I was at the time.

Marlene added: “One of the hardest things to deal with recently is that I can’t hold my grandson, Harry, because my arms are too weak. I know when he gets older I won’t be able to play with him.

“My progression has been fairly slow up until recently. I now notice I get tired much more easily and each day presents itself with another small challenge to overcome.

“I haven’t needed too much support so far but I know that is going to change and Bob will have to become more hands on. I find that very difficult to accept.

“Although I am a positive person it is still scary; not knowing what is coming and how I am going to progress because everyone with the condition is so different.”

Marlene is grateful for all the support she has received from the charity, MND Scotland, and the NHS.

“I saw my MND nurse within four days of being diagnosed which was fantastic, and she organised for all of the other specialists to come out and visit me,” she said.

“MND Scotland provided me with a scooter for six months when I was diagnosed which was great to keep me going. We have used the charity’s complementary therapy service which is really relaxing.

“The staff at MND Scotland have been just superb. They are always on the other end of the phone with the answers you need or they’ll get someone to call you straight back who does know the answer.”

Marlene and her family took part in the Strathclyde Fun Run in May for MND Scotland and raised £2,000.