s to swim with sharks, go to one more festival and be abridesmaid. She hopes to meet Lily Allen and
throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain. And despite all the grim challenges MND sets her, she is out to make every one of her dreams come true. “It would be easy to sit back and feel sorry for myself,” Lucy said. “But that’s just not me. “I’m a determined person and I’m not giving up without a fight. I have to make the best of it and try not to think too far into the future. “Taking it one day at a time helps and I’m very lucky to have an amazing support network. “Each day I’m happy is another day that I have beaten MND.” Lucy first realised something was wrong when her left hand started shaking uncontrollably. She went to her GP but the shaking got worse. She said: “At first I wasn’t too worried. I thought it was just a trapped nerve. I was referred t
o a neurologist but tried not to worry too much. “Then I got a call asking me to go to hospital and that’s when I was told I have MND. The first thing the doctor said was there was no cure at this time – and I started crying. “It came as a huge shock, especially as I didn’t know much about the condition. The neurologist explained how serious it was and from that moment I knew that my life would change. “I looked up MND online and it really began to sink in. “I cried and felt angry, wondering why it was happening to me. But I quickly realised that wasn’t going to help.” The day after her diagnosis last November, Lucy went back to Glasgow’s Southern General with her parents, brother and sister to learn more about MND. She said: “I wanted to know if I could still have kids, but the doctor advised against it as my body wouldn’t be able to handle it. I had to avert my eyes to stop myself from crying.” MND blocks the signals from the brain which stimulates the muscles. It makes gripping, walking, talking, swallowing and breathing difficult, then impossible. Doctors can’t explain what causes it or why certain people get it. About half of patients die within three or four years of their symptoms starting, but some can live for 10 years or longer. Professor Stephen Hawking has defied the illness for more than 50 years. Lucy is one of 370 sufferers in Scotland. Most are much older, but she is keen to stress that MND is not just a disease of old age. After her diagnosis, she had to give up her college business course and move back in with her parents. Her speech is slurred now. Her muscles are weak, the right side of her jaw dislocates without warning and she needs a splint on her left leg to help her walk. But Lucy faces every hurdle the disease puts in her path, and tries to overcome them all. Lucy scuba diving in the Moray Firth “There’s been a lot of adjustment,” she said. “One of the things I find most frustrating is how long it now takes me to do simple tasks. “Little things like making a cup of tea, cleaning my teeth and brushing my hair take up so much energy. “It’s a cruel condition and I know things will get worse. “I can’t really think about the future as I don’t know what will happen. The doctors won’t give me a time frame. “Of course I wish I’d been misdiagnosed and hope a cure will be found, but who wouldn’t in my situation? Hope is everything. “But for now, I’m just thankful for the little things I can still do.” Some of those things aren’t so little. Lucy’s out to raise 100,000 to improve awareness of MND and help other sufferers. It’s one of the biggest targets on her bucket list and she’s already more than 29,000 closer to achieving it, after completing a 65-mile sponsored walk along the Speyside Way with 18 of her family and friends. “It was no mean feat,” she admitted. “My friends joke that I don’t make life easy for myself. But I was determined to finish. I was exhausted by the end, but knowing how much we raised helped spur me on.” Lucy is also busy ticking off the other items on her list. She has visited Paris, ridden a horse and a Segway, been on
a road trip and tried scuba diving and canoeing. Lucy and pals riding Segways She’s even found time to do her own ice bucket challenge to raise funds for MND research. Lucy has a busy time ahead of her too. She said: “I’m about to start an online college course, I have a number of charity events coming up and I’m doing lots of things from my list. “Next month, I’m going back to Idahovin the USA. I went to Camp America there last year as a counsellor and made some good friends. “I’ve got so much to look forward to. And MND is not going to hold me back.” Lucys list 1. Take my first horseriding lesson 2. Visit Paris 3. Walk/canoe the Speyside Way 4. Raise 100,000 for MND 5. Make pottery 6. Swim with dolphins 7. Swim with sharks 8. Be a bridesmaid 9. Help organise a meaningful event 10. Visit Italy 11. Scuba dive 12. Organise my 21st 13.
Pass my driving test 14. Meet Lily Allen 15. Ride in a hot air balloon 16. Go back to McCall, Idaho 17. Be a zoo keeper for a day 18. Ride a Segway 19. Go to one more festival 20. Dye my hair 21. Get a tattoo 22. Set off on a road trip not knowing the destination 23. Go zorbing 24. Ride a quad bike 25. Visit Stonehenge 26. Ride in a helicopter 27. See a volcano 28. Make a difference in at least one persons life (a stranger’s) 29. Help someone complete something on their bucket list 30. Build Olaf the snowman 31. See an opera 32 .See a musical 33. See a ballet production 34. Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain in Rome 35. Have my Tarot cards read 36. Send a message in a bottle and get a reply 37. Plant a tree 38. Bake a souffl 39. Be brave enough to skydive 40. Become a regular at a business 41. Go backstage at a concert 42. See the White Cliffs of Dover 43. Walk along the Jurassic Coast 44. Take a photo after completing each item on my bucket list 45. Go to a drive-in cinema