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Stand up against MND comedians raise £25,000 for charity

Campaigner Gordon Aikman (Jane Barlow/PA Wire)
Motor neurone disease campaigner Gordon Aikman (Jane Barlow/PA Wire)

SOME of Scotland’s best-known comedians have raised more than £25,000 for a charity which helps motor neurone disease patients.

Kevin Bridges hosted Stand Up Against MND at the Glasgow Live International Comedy Festival on Monday.

More than £25,000 was raised for MND Scotland, taking the event’s total to more than £50,000 over the past three years.

The event was dedicated to the memory of motor neurone disease patient and campaigner Gordon Aikman, who was 29 when diagnosed and died from the condition last month at the age of 31.

Mr Aikman was working as director of research for Better Together during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum campaign when he was given his diagnosis.

Following his diagnosis, he formed the Gordon’s Fightback campaign, raising in excess of £500,000 for research to help fund a cure for the disease.

Speaking at Stand Up Against MND, Mr Aikman’s husband Joe Pike said: “Two years ago at the first Stand Up Against MND, Gordon walked onto this stage to make a speech. He used a crutch. Last year Gordon was in his electric wheelchair. This year Gordon is not here.

“He so wanted to be. He was incredibly excited that Kevin Bridges was performing. But, sadly, Gordon died six weeks ago.

“Gordon wouldn’t want your sympathy or pity. He would want you to change things. Because in his short life he did: he changed the lives of hundreds of people living with MND in Scotland.

“Your support really does make a difference. Scientists in white coats are doing research in Scotland right now to help find a cure for MND.”

Stand Up Against MND also featured Fred MacAulay, Des Clarke, Susie McCabe, Ray Bradshaw, Elaine Malcolmson, Scott Agnew and Jim Smith.

MacAulay said: “I am really pleased we managed to get such a good turnout for the night and to have raised over £25,000 in one go is just incredible.

“No-one should have to go through what Gordon did and so many others in Scotland have to.

“Funding a cure is the only way to stop this and thanks to everyone who came along we are another step closer.”