Doddie Weir encourages urgency for MND cure to be made in same way as rush to find COVID vaccine

Former rugby player and motor neurone disease (MND) campaigner, Doddie Weir is calling on politicians and scientists to replicate the speed in which a vaccine was developed for the coronavirus to find a cure for MND.

Credit: SNS GroupSRU

Living with the muscle-wasting condition and campaigning to find a cure, Doddie announced he was living with MND on World MND Day in 2017.

The announcement of his diagnosis came with the launch of a fundraising drive and charitable organisation, the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation that has since raised more than £6 million for drug development and research.


Now, Doddie is calling on the same urgency to create a COVID-19 vaccine to be translated into the fight for an MND cure.

Doddie commented: “Before Covid, it took years to get a drug to market. We should use the success of how quickly the vaccines were created to find a cure for MND.

“The big difference is, everyone in Scotland has the potential to get COVID but maybe only 500 people will get MND, and we need to change that thinking.

“I would ask both the Scottish and UK Governments to now take the hope created by the vaccines on to MND.”


Originally given only 18-months to live, Doddie is beating all the odds and continually working towards a cure for the condition.

In the UK, MND affects up to 5,000 adults and there is a one in 300 risk of getting the disease. Alongside not having a cure, there is still research underway to better understand why people develop MND.

Doddie, his trustees, volunteers and donators to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation have already worked to fund vital research through platform trials, gene therapy and biomarking – to name a few.

But, more still needs to be done and there requires urgency as many people living with MND only have a three-year life expectancy.

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