It was a great honour to be invited to the official launch of the North Midlands MND Care and Research Network, in the presence of the Royal Patron of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, HRH The Princess Royal.
The North Midlands MND Care and Research Network started on 4th June 2018 – one year before its official launch. The Network provides services to people living with MND in Staffordshire, parts of Cheshire and the surrounding counties. It is based out of the Royal Stoke University Hospital and is funded by the University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) NHS Trust and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. The Network is the 22nd of its kind, an achievement the MND Association is keen to highlight as the charity commemorates its 40th anniversary in 2019. This launch by The Princess Royal recognises a combination of important services provided in the region, including Neurology, Respiratory Medicine and Palliative Medicine.
Held at the World of Wedgwood in Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, the event began with a presentation of Civic Dignitaries, which was followed by presentations from UNHM NHS Trust senior staff and MND Associate senior staff. However, the most inspirational speech came from Mrs Margaret Cross. Margaret was diagnosed with MND in 2017 and uses a Tobii Dynavox aid to communicate. As a service wife, she has travelled the world with her husband Major Robert Cross – who also attended the event – spending time in various countries including Kathmandu, where Margaret taught riding and horse training to the Royal Nepalese Cavalry. She is a remarkable woman and it was an honour to listen to her truly inspiring stories.
It was a privilege to be able to see first-hand the amazing work that is being done for people living with MND in our region and I look forward to supporting this fantastic network as it continues to grow.