When Gerard was diagnosed with Motor neurone disease at the age of 45, his family’s life changed forever. This is Gerard and his wife, Joanna’s story:
“I first started noticing signs that something wasn’t right whilst I was at work. I was a joiner by trade and I was struggling to lift heavy items and use my arms. Things then started to go rapidly downhill and I was diagnosed with Motor neurone disease. I was gutted when I received the diagnosis – it honestly felt like a bus had hit me.
“I also had this feeling of guilt as I felt bad for my wife, Joanna. We had just got married in 2008 and we were only two years into our marriage when I got the diagnosis. It’s been a rough time for her and I feel bad about that.”
Marie Curie have given me peace of mind
“Following my diagnosis in 2010, the social worker recommended that I reach out to Marie Curie and I have now had five years of their support. Initially I attended day therapy – I loved it and I met a lot of nice people. Sadly, due to the nature of it, many of them have now passed away.
“I gradually became less mobile and therefore less independent and I was transferred to the unit for assessment. I’ve now been in Marie Curie hospice since September 2017.
“With the support Marie Curie provides, it takes the pressure away from my wife and I. The care and support that I have received not only helps me, but my wife, two children and two stepchildren. I have peace of mind as I know my family are supported – I honestly can’t praise Marie Curie highly enough.
“Q Radiothon is a really good cause as it will help people like me that need palliative and end of life care.”
At the end of the day, Gerard is still Gerard – Joanna, Gerard’s wife
“I was completely shocked when Gerard was diagnosed – he was only 45 years old. I went numb and I didn’t want to talk about it. We didn’t know much about Motor neurone disease until the nurse explained it all.
“One of my first thoughts was the children – I was afraid to tell them. Your immediate thought as a mother is that you want to protect them. But they were amazing. At the end of the day Gerard is still Gerard. His humour has helped us all through it.”
“Marie Curie have been amazing. I honestly don’t know if we could have got through this without them. When we went to day therapy it was all new to us and they held our hand through every situation we were faced with. They not only provide care, but support both emotionally and physically.
“With Gerard being in the hospice it has taken the pressure away from me. It takes away all the worry as I know that everyone has his best interest at heart and he’s in very safe hands.”
Q Radiothon is committed to supporting families like Gerard’s by raising vital funds to support our fantastic charity partners. If you would like to help us make a difference, you can take part in our Big Brunch, hold your own event or make a donation.