I am Richard Dawson, a 38-year-old IT Professional from the Home Counties in England. I've had a connection with MND since 2001 when I lost my father Nigel to this cruel and wicked disease. I have sadly seen the passing of many others to MND, and this drives me to do as much as I can. My aim is to raise as much awareness and funding as possible.
To raise funds this year I have embarked on something quite mad, I have purchased a 1995 Black London Taxi and have created a massive awareness event called BigMNDrace. The Big MND Race 2013 will see two teams of racers leave Liverpool. A team in cars led by MaNDy, the MND Awareness raising taxi, will leave in convoy and head north to Ben Nevis. Racing against the cars will be a team of cyclists heading west to Snowdon. The winning team is the first to get to their mountain, climb it, and return to Liverpool, all within 24 hours
For the Global Screening Day of I AM BREATHING I am planning to use the taxi to show the film. The taxi is equipped with a DVD player. So for a totally unique film watching experience, watch this space.
Can you also host a screening on 21 June?
I am Tony Bray, a radio presenter for Vectis Radio, based on the Isle of Wight, UK. I am supporting MND awareness because I know the devastating effects the disease can have, not just for the sufferer but also for their families and friends. It truly breaks my heart and I just wanted to do whatever I could to help.
To raise funds and awareness I will be swimming the Solent, along with some others, in July 2013. Details can be found on www.swimmingthesolent.info.
Running up to the Global Screening Day of I AM BREATHING I will be preparing a special radio show to be broadcast from 1-3pm on Global Day June 21. You can be part of the show! We are currently looking for short stories relating to MND that we will feature from May onwards. If you have a story to share please let me know in comments below.
I am showing I AM BREATHING with the Isle of Wight Branch of the MND Association on 21 June. Details and RSVP here.
Can you also host a screening on 21 June?
Press release: I AM BREATHING will mark MND/ALS Global Awareness Day on 21 June, launching with its UK premiere at EIFF on 20 June.
Critically-acclaimed feature documentary I AM BREATHING will raise money and awareness for Global Motor Neurone Disease Awareness Day on 21 June 2013 through a global screening day, launching with the UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival the previous day (20 June). Scottish Documentary Institute and the Motor Neurone Disease Association will collaborate to promote awareness and raise funds with cinema and community screenings of the film all over the world on 21 June. Participating so far are the Balkans, Australia, USA, Canada, Denmark, The Netherlands, Russia, and India.
Starting today, on the anniversary of Neil Platt's death, we're re-publishing his original blog posts chronicling his struggle against Motor Neurone Disease (as seen in I AM BREATHING). We're going to share them over 100 days in the run-up to 21 June 2013, the Global Awareness Day for MND/ALS which is also our day for worldwide screenings of the film.
In the meantime, I AM BREATHING keeps touring film festivals, playing at ZagrebDox this Tuesday, having its North American premiere at True/False this Thursday, and showing at Tempo in Stockholm next week. Please keep spreading the word.
Today, Shinya Yamanaka receives the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells, as opposed to controversial embryonic stem cells).
As part of his Nobel Lecture at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Professor Yamanaka used Motor Neurone Disease as an example for a pharmaceutical in-vitro application of iPS cells.
"[MND patients] become unable to move – and in the end, they become unable to breathe. So it's a very, very sad situation for patients and the family members. Despite numerous efforts by numerous scientists we still don't have effective drugs for these patients suffering from Motor Neurone Disease, primarily because we don't have a good disease model to perform drug screening.
With the world premiere of I AM BREATHING just around the corner, we were delighted to discover that MND Scotland are hosting a daring fundraiser on the very same day in Glasgow.