25 Jun 2015

Proud to welcome SHA to Holyrood

Huntington’s is a cruel, degenerative, neurological disease and sadly the number of people in this country being diagnosed with the condition has risen by 55% in the past three years and I’m backing the charity’s call to the Scottish Government to help fund a national action plan to address this. My constituency office is located next to the Scottish Huntington’s Association headquarters so I know Chief Executive John Eden, his team and the excellent work the charity does very well. Long ago I pledged to support them in any way I could so it was a privilege to host them at a special event at the Scottish Parliament where they got to raise awareness of the condition and its affects on not just those who are diagnosed but their families. During the reception I sponsored at Parliament, you could have heard a pin drop when world champion rower and Olympic medal winner Sarah Winckless, who is Patron of SHA and Catherine Martin, Chair of SHA, shared their very personal and emotional experiences of life with Huntington’s. This elite athlete told the story of her mother being diagnosed with Huntington’s before finding out she too tested positive for the gene that will inevitably lead to the onset of this incurable disease. She is currently leading a campaign to raise £50,000 to fund two Huntington’s specific nurses in Scotland. I was pleased that Jamie Hepburn, one of the Health Ministers, spoke positively about working with the Association. You can find out more at SHApe Up with Winckless If you or someone you know is affected by Huntington’s you can get support, advice and help on  0141 848 0308. Knowledge is power and the more we can tell people about the disease, what needs to be done and the support available the better.