Bid to give MND sufferers a voice

A former teacher is hoping a new project will give her a voice after losing her own to

Motor Neurone Disease (MND)

Elizabeth Ogg (66), who taught English at Bearsden Academy for more than 25 years, developed MND two years ago and lost her voice as one of the side effects of the debilitating disease.

Now her family are taking part in an innovative initiative called ‘The Voice Project’ run by Edinburgh University to record regional accents that will be used for a phone app to help MND sufferers communicate.

In order to help raise awareness of the condition Elizabeth’s two daughters, Nicola and Lindsey, recently completed the 10k Strathclyde Park run, and with the help of close family friends who also took part have raised over £3,000 for MND Scotland.

Dad Alan said: “Many former students and teachers will remember Liz for her professionalism, stimulating lessons and great sense of humour. Liz has now lost her power of speech and among other symptoms has difficulties with eating and drinking. “

Other family and many friends also participated in the fun run and a number of these participants enjoyed a post fun run barbecue organised by friends Janet and Stuart Ellson.

Alan, Nicola and Lindsey are now recording their voices at The Voice Project, which is being funded by author JK Rowling, whose mother Anne died of multiple sclerosis.

Alan added: “This project is really worthwhile and we have been to the centre a number of times. My daughters are really keen to help record regional accents for people in the West of Scotland who have lost their voices to help them communicate better.”

With the month of June being designated Motor Neurone Disease Awareness month Gemma Bradley, communications officer with MND Scotland said:“MND is such a cruel disease and thanks to the efforts of our supporters it’s finally getting the awareness that it needs.

“At MND Scotland we depend on people like Liz, Alan, their family and friends taking part in fundraising activities and raising awareness of MND. Without them MND Scotland and the services we provide simply would not exist.”

Motor Neurone Disease Scotland is the only charity in Scotland that provides care and information for people affected by the disease. It also provides a great deal of funding for much needed research into finding a cure and understanding how the condition can develop over a number of years.

The charity relies primarily on the efforts of fundraisers and donations to continue its services.