Sunningdale Heath Golf Day

Another of the events organised by Paul’s family! This time, mother-in-law Dr Wendy Roles, a member of SHGC, was conspirator-in-chief.

Here she is before the start, with Jess Jameson (Paul’s wife), son David, and Paul himself.

MNDA T-shirts to the fore, with (L to R) Gordon Ferguson, Paul’s son George, George Wood and Wendy’s grandson Jack Olsen.

Paul and his family winning the goodies (he also won the Longest Drive Competition!)

Many thanks to all involved in organising the event, especially ringleader Dr Roles, the Club for hosting it, and everyone who attended and contributed so generously! Thanks also to MNDA Regional Fundraiser Pam Fry for attending and saying some suitable words of thanks on our behalf.

Christmas 2017 Open Meeting

This proved to be as successful as we had hoped, and the room was only just big enough! Paul and Jess Jameson gave us a fascinating and inspiring account of their Kilimanjaro expedition, culminating in a set of tennis at the summit, which is being considered for inclusion in the Guinness book of records. Roz Landor and Alex Mircica then entertained us with some seasonal readings which were a stimulating change to routine, and were well received. Nigel Husaunndee provided a wonderful tasty buffet lunch, and with the help of a glass or two, sent us home full of the Christmas spirit.

Thanks to all who helped, or attended to make the afternoon a success!

Open Garden

Mary Hainline once again opened her garden and house for her Art Sale, and invited us along to wave the MND flag. With commission from sales, the raffle and refreshments, the Branch finally ended the weekend better off by a magnificent £1820! Our thanks are due to Mary and Doug, all those who helped out, and all those who donated in whichever way.

Eamonn Cann at The Greyfriar

Eamonn Cann is one of ‘our’ people living with MND, but he is determined not to let that stop him singing! He’s a great Sinatra fan, and treated the customers at The Greyfriar pub in Chawton (near Alton) to a special performance of swing numbers from Sinatra and others just before Christmas . . and he kindly donated the proceeds of the evening to this branch. What with the raffle and auction, we are £664.00 better off!

Eamonn in full swing

… and with Trevor Jones, mine host at The Greyfriar.

Judith Shrubb ‘Carer of the Year’

Judith Shrubb, wife of our friend and branch member Paul, who is living with MND was awarded    ‘Carer of the Year’ by BBC Radio Surrey!! A fantastic achievement, and so well deserved. The award was presented by the Chief Constable of Sussex.

She was interviewed after the presentation, and you can hear it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04jc43k

Paul is incredibly proud of you Judith, and so are all of us.

Well done!

MND Charter adopted by Surrey C.C.!

Today the MND Charter was adopted by Surrey C.C.!

Pictured outside County Hall beforehand are: (L to R) Bob of W. Surrey Branch, Dave Setters of E. Surrey, who’s worked hard to get this done, Joanne Shaw, and Helen Setters.

Picture taken by Rae Martin-Smith, the MND Assoc’s fantastic Campaigns Manager for the South. Many thanks to all of them, and to Mrs Helyn Clack, S.C.C. Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Health.

To top it off, Joanne agreed to become Campaigns Contact for W. Surrey Branch, so a good day all round!

Helyn Clack signing the Charter for Surrey County Council

Aerobility

Our first member living with MND has had a trial flight courtesy of ‘Aerobility’ at Blackbushe Airport. Aerobility is a charity dedicated in facilitating flying for people with all sorts of medical problems. In some cases, they may be able to continue with a formal course culminating in a Private Pilot’s Licence.

Paul Shrubb became Biggles for the day and thoroughly enjoyed his flight. Judith rode shotgun to keep him in order!

Waverley Singers’ performance

On Saturday 19th March 2016, we were represented at the Waverley Singers’ performance of Bach’s St John Passion in Aldershot, and benefited from the retiring collection.

We gave a short presentation about MND and the work of the Association, the last part of which was a reading by Rosalyn Landor of  MND Trustee Mark Stone’s piece about the impact of MND on him.

Rosalyn Landor reading ‘MND and Me’ by Mark Stone

Mark had read this on Radio 2 in October last year, and the BBC broadcast the programme again on Mark’s death in early February. The audience at the concert were greatly touched by the reading, and asked if we could make it available.

Here it is:

‘MND and me’

by Mark Stone

‘Up and down, up and down
I will lead them up and down
I am feared in field and town
Goblin, lead them up and down’

(Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act III, Scene ii   –  William Shakespeare)

As Puck to the lovers in Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s ‘MND’?), Motor Neurone Disease has proved a rollercoaster ride for this mere mortal.

It has changed everything; not ‘nearly everything’, but literally everything. Good, bad, or indifferent – whatever else, everything has changed.

It has brought out the best in people – and the worst in people, including, of course, me. But everything has been transformed, whether subtly, or dramatically, by the experience of gradually losing facility – and knowing that there’s nothing you can do about it.

Well, you can, of course –  mentally, psychologically, spiritually. But physically, the die has been cast and you are on a journey that you cannot alter.

The process is subtle, gradual, inexorable:

snip, you can’t keep up with your family in the street;
snip, you can’t control your foot against the rip at the beach;
snip, you can’t drive;
snip, you can’t do the stairs without using the banisters;
snip, you’re no longer safe in the shower;
snip, you need crutches outside;
snip, you can no longer visit your parents’ house;
snip, you can’t get to your kids’ rooms;
snip, you’re breathless every time you walk;
snip, you need a wheelchair;
snip, you can’t get into a normal car;
snip, you can’t get into your own house;
snip . . . snip . . . snip . . .

Time – and people – are the most precious things of all.

Time wasted is impossibly cruel, an abomination, an unspeakable injustice.

Time spent well, especially when shared – massacring madrigals with friends, Bach & Bruckner at the Proms, dappled sunlight on old church walls – is the greatest gift of all.