Bid to find cure for motor neurone disease given £165,000 boost by Borders rugby hero Doddie Weir

Borders rugby hero Doddie Weir’s research charity has donated another £165,000 to a bid to come up with a cure for motor neurone disease.

Friday, 1st May 2020, 7:12 am
Former Scotland player Doddie Weir at March's Six Nations international rugby union match between Scotland and France at Murrayfield Stadium. (Photo by Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images)

That’s the second donation the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, set up by the former Scotland rugby international in November 2017 just short of a year after being diagnosed with the disease, has given to Funding Neuro following an earlier £50,000 handout to the Glasgow-based charity.

It will help pay for the development of a prototype of a drug being lined up for clinical trials by Bristol University professor Steven Gill.

The initial phase of his work, to establish if the treatment would flow to affected motor neurons in the spinal cord after being delivered directly to the brain, was completed last year.

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It cost £150,000, and a third of that bill was picked up by Doddie’s charity, with the rest coming from other supporters of Funding Neuro.

Doddie, 49, of Blainslie, said: “We are delighted to contribute towards this important research, especially during these uncertain times.

“We recognise that research must continue and, thanks to the generosity of all our donors and contributors, we are able to continue with our commitment.

“We remain dedicated to searching for a cure for MND.”

Sharon Kane, chief executive of Funding Neuro, added: “We are really pleased with the generous donation from Doddie’s foundation. It has enabled us to push ahead with the next phase without delay.

“We want to do everything we can to accelerate the research.

“This is a really good example of how two charities working together can make this happen.

“We hope that, following the next stage, we will be a step closer to finding a cure for this devastating disease.”

Former Melrose player Doddie, capped 61 times by Scotland between 1990 and 2000, revealed in June 2017 that he’d been diagnosed with MND six months earlier, and he’s been fundraising ever since, amassing more than £5m so far.