Gordon Aikman Honoured For MND Campaigning
23 June 2017, 11:03 | Updated: 23 June 2017, 12:28
Motor neurone disease activist Gordon Aikman has won a posthumous award for his campaigning work.
Mr Aikman died in February aged just 31 after being diagnosed with the condition in 2014.
He launched the Gordon's Fightback campaign as he battled the condition, and helped raise more than £600,000 for MND Scotland to fund research into a cure.
The campaign has now won the people's choice gong at the 2017 Scottish Charity Awards, which was decided by a public vote.
MND Scotland said thanks to Mr Aikman, there are now double the number of NHS-funded MND nurses in Scotland, while he also helped secure patients who lose their voice a legal right to access to speech equipment through the health service.
Organised by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), the awards celebrate the life-changing work of charities, community groups and individuals dedicated to making Scotland a better place to live.
Lawrence Cowan, chair of MND Scotland, was a close friend of Mr Aikman's and helped him co-ordinate the Fightback campaign.
He said: "It's wonderful that Gordon's achievements have been celebrated with this award. What the Gordon's Fightback campaign has achieved is remarkable.
"Patients with MND see their nurses more often and for longer thanks to the campaign. There are also more researchers in Scotland searching for a cure.
"I miss Gordon every day. Gordon and everyone going through this devastating disease inspire us all to keep fighting back. That's why MND Scotland will keep on transforming care and funding a cure for this devastating disease.''
Mr Aikman was just 29 and working as director of research for Better Together during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum campaign when he was diagnosed.
Mr Aikman's husband Joe Pike said: "I would love to have seen the expression on Gordon's face as he was announced as the winner of this award.
"I would have loved to have heard the speech - the powerful speech - he would have given.
"But Gordon is gone. MND kills and it kills fast.
"Yet this award is a wonderful tribute to his incredible campaigning, and we will continue with Gordon's Fightback until a cure for MND is found.''
Anyone who would like to support Mr Aikman's efforts to fund a cure for MND can donate at GordonsFightback.com or text MNDS85 £10 to 70070.