The team at Enable were extremely saddened to hear that ex-footballer, Fernando Ricksen, passed away this morning, after a long battle with motor neurone disease (MND).
He was best known for his time at Scottish team, Rangers Football Club, who shared the sad news on their social media this morning.
Fernando was diagnosed with MND in 2013, and spent the remainder of his life campaigning and raising awareness about the disease.
The Fernando Ricksen Foundation was launched in 2016, with the aim of defeating the disease. The charity promoted the message – which Fernando also had tattooed on himself – “I am a warrior, a warrior with fighting spirit. I will never give up and never surrender.”
WHAT IS MND?
MND is a disease that affects the brain and nerves, and gets progressively worse over time.
There is currently no cure and people who are diagnosed have a significantly shortened life expectancy, although people can live with it for many years.
There are treatment options available that can help with symptoms and reduce the impact it has on your daily life.
The symptoms of MND can come on slowly and can be hard to spot at first. According to the NHS, they include:
- Weakness in your leg or ankle
- Slurred speech, which may develop into difficulty swallowing some foods
- A weakened grip
- Muscle cramps and twitches
- Weight loss
- Difficulty stopping yourself from laughing or crying in inappropriate situations
It’s an uncommon condition that usually affects people in their 60s and 70s, but can affect adults of all ages.
Fernando’s battle with the disease brought awareness to the forefront of the sporting community, which is united today in remembering the player for his success, talent, and fight to help others also living with the disease.