Former minister with motor neurone disease revs up for egg and spoon fund-raiser - The Leamington Observer

Former minister with motor neurone disease revs up for egg and spoon fund-raiser

Leamington Editorial 26th Mar, 2021   0

BEST friends from Warwick are taking a novel approach to an egg and spoon race to help fund Motor Neurone Disease research.

Andy Laird from Hampton Magna was diagnosed with MND shortly after he retired as a methodist minister. The condition damages the nervous system and causes muscle weakness. The disease was that which notoriously affected renowned physicist Stephen Hawking.

While MND has since taken its toll on Andy’s physical mobility and dexterity, it hasn’t dampened his spirit to be positive and to fight back.

Along with best friend of 30 years, Trevor Langley from Warwick, Andy is planning an egg and spoon race in his motorised wheelchair, against Trevor on an electric scooter.

The challenge will involve creme eggs which Andy will hold in a large plastic spoon, strapped to a walking pole, attached to his arm. The duo will race around a 1km course on Andy’s estate on their respective vehicles which can travel up to 4mph.

The race will be followed by a daily marathon of 26 steps in his own home throughout April, since walking from the lounge to the bedroom is now a major challenge for Andy.

The event, which will take place on April Fool’s Day, follows on from the ‘reverse triathlon’ Andy completed last year while shielding against covid. The challenge included a walk of several laps of his garden, followed by a ride on his exercise bike, while the traditional water portion was a shower. The fund-raiser made over £9,000 for his ‘Fight Back Fund’.

To date, Andy, who is cared for full-time by his wife Ann, has achieved £32,050 for research charity the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The former minister is a keen guitarist and singer, and starring in musicals, events, and even in a band, has been a major part of his life – something MND has taken away.

Andy first noticed something was wrong when he had difficulty getting chord shapes on his guitar, and not being able to press down hard enough on the strings.

His love of music is something he shares with Trevor, the former musical director of Leamington Gang Show. While the pair, who are both part of a community choir in Warwick, are still able to bond over their passion, Andy is finding it increasingly difficult to sing.

As well as taking part in various drug trials, in the hope that he can help others with MND in the future, Andy has been busy recording his life story thanks to a special piece of software, supplied by the Motor Neurone Disease Association – not without the help of pal Trevor who is editing and archiving it.

Neighbours are invited to cheer on the duo from their doorsteps at 11.30am on Thursday April 1.

Visit to donate to Andy’s cause.


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