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Doddie Weir: Rugby star opens up about his battle with MND

The 47-year-old, who revealed his diagnosis in June, has spoken of his frustration.

Former Scotland rugby player Doddie Weir has opened up about his battle against motor neurone disease (MND).

The 47-year-old, who revealed his diagnosis in June, has spoken of his frustration at the lack of progress in finding a cure for the degenerative condition.

Weir said he first had concerns after losing strength in his left hand 18 months ago.

The one-time British and Irish Lions forward said: "I noticed other wee changes.

"Maybe it wasn't the right thing to do but I had a look online. When I read that and saw what the condition meant, I realised I could be in a bit of trouble."

Weir said people living with MND today can only ponder their future.

Tackle: Weir in action for Scotland.
Tackle: Weir in action for Scotland. PA

He said: "There is frustration and that is with the lack of a solution.

"The apparent shortage of news or progress in finding new drugs to suppress the onset or fight the disease is frustrating - something I share with other sufferers."

One of the first places he sought counselling was with the J9 Foundation in South Africa, set up after World Cup winner Joost Van Der Westhuizen, who died in February, was diagnosed with MND.

Barbarians: Charging ahead during match against Wales.
Barbarians: Charging ahead during match against Wales. PA

He added: "I'd met him at Murrayfield a few years back, when he was travelling to raise awareness about motor neurone disease, so his J9 Foundation was one of the first places I sought out information.

"There is a lot of detail to be had on the matter. Unfortunately, less so a solution."

Weir said he is still able to walk, talk and drive, despite the degenerative nature of MND.

'I have some problems with my hands just now, so it can be quite tricky when doing a tie or some buttons on a shirt.'
Doddie Weir

"I'm not too bad - probably quite well in terms of what the condition can do," he said.

"I have some problems with my hands just now so it can be quite tricky when doing a tie or some buttons on a shirt.

"I might be lucky it started with my hands. Other people it could be their voice or when they are eating, or legs. I can do most things - just a wee bit slower."

He added: "But you have to remember I may have had this condition for maybe a couple of years. So I'm getting on not too bad, I can still walk, still talk, still drive the car, so not too bad.

"And hopefully that'll be the same for quite a long time."

Weir intends to launch an MND fundraising charity called the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation, featuring his former shirt number - five - in its name.

https://stv.tv/news/east-central/1391643-scots-rugby-player-doddie-weir-diagnosed-with-mnd-at-46/ | default

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