What is MND24?
Founded in 2020 by Sandy Stirling, MND24 is a 24-hour global initiative that takes place annually in the month of March.
The aim is to raise awareness and vital funds for Motor Neuron Disease (MND). MND24’s mission is to support cutting-edge research and care for those living with MND. Our ultimate goal is to help find a cure for Motor Neuron Disease.
“My father, Alexander Stirling, was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease in May 2016 after undergoing more than 2 years of tests. He passed away on the 9th of March 2019 at the age of 83.
MND is an incredibly cruel disease, and after seeing how my dad so bravely fought back at his illness, I wanted to do something to help fund research in finding a cure for this appalling disease.
Inspired by Rob Wainwright and Ewan Dowes, who had undertaken cycling challenges for the My Names Doddie Weir Foundation and MNDA for Rob Burrows, as a tribute to the memory of my wonderful dad, I decided I would do a 12-hour cycle around Al Qudra on the first anniversary of his death.
On the day, I had about 130 people come and join me during those 12 hours. This then inspired me not only double my challenge the following year, but to be better organised and see how we could grow the event.
“Having watched my father and family deal with this terrible illness, I have been inspired to do all I can to help others around the world suffering with MND.
I hope this event not only raises awareness for MND but helps to find a cure for MND. By inspiring people to take part, and get out there exercising, it also helps to deal with the kind of mental health challenges we have all faced through the global pandemic whilst doing something for an incredibly worthy cause.”
Sandy Stirling, Founder MND24
I first became aware of Motor Neuron Disease at the tender age of 14, when my Father, Raymond Charles Speller was diagnosed. Back in the 80’s MND was virtually unheard of and rarely reached national press, this perhaps changed slightly when the celebrated actor David Niven died in 1983 of this debilitating disease.
Like David my father started his career in the military, where he went from a hardnosed R$M (Regimental Sargent Major) to become a Captain within the Royal Engineers.
Combining the strength, that the military installed in him with the morals of a ‘true gentleman’, my father like many, was always my hero. However, he will perhaps be most fondly remembered for his wicked sense of humor and ability to turn the most difficult situations into a comedy moment. This is something I remember most vividly when coming to terms with his illness and watching this incredibly proud man becoming debilitated by this horrific disease.
A difficult, but loving memory was supporting my father as he endeavored to navigate the stairs in our home. While holding him to ensure he didn’t fall, I remember him turning to me and saying ‘has some bugger come into my home over night and added more steps’.
I met Sandy on a golf course and was completely inspired by the work he is doing to ensure MND is bought into the public eye. Like many I have always wanted to do something in memory of a lost one but never found time (or perhaps made enough effort).
The work, time and achievements that Sandy has made is true testament to his father and has inspired me to want to become a part of his work and the mission of MND24.
The impact of MND is not only an incredibly cruel disease but can be devastating to the families and loved ones, helpless to do anything and watching as a bystander.
Chris Speller, Co-Founder MND24
WHY SHOULD I BE A PART OF MND24’s MISSION?
By being part of MND24, you help us to raise awareness about Motor Neuron Disease and move closer to our goal of helping to find a cure for a disease that is hard to diagnose, is impossible to predict and is currently incurable.