Doddie Weir frustrated by slow progress finding MND treatments

Former Scotland rugby player has published a new diary charting his battle with the muscle-wasting condition.

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Rugby legend and MND campaigner Doddie Weir has been left frustrated by the lack of progress in finding treatments for the devastating disease.

The former Scotland player believes the speed at which Covid vaccines were developed shows what can be achieved when the scientific community comes together.

Weir – who set up a foundation called My Name’s Doddie – has published a new diary charting his five-year battle with the muscle-wasting condition, which currently has no known cure.

He told STV current affairs show Scotland Tonight: “There are quite a lot of frustrations there and we are trying to change that.

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“There is quite a bit of hope around the corner because there are trials starting in Edinburgh. The book reflects that a little bit, that things happening right now are quite good.”

Weir, 51, reveals in his book, Doddie’s Diary, that he is now having to become more reliant on help from other people.

Doddie Weir, left, in action for Scotland in 1993.SNS via SNS Group
Doddie Weir, left, in action for Scotland in 1993.

“I think there is quite a bit of progression with MND so I need a lot more help to walk,” he said. “I had a bad fall in February. I lost my confidence in walking, so I need someone to hold on to me while I walk.

“But at the end of the day, this December (I’ll have been) diagnosed for five years, so there’s no need to grumble – get up and get on and enjoy it while you can.”

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Weir, who made 61 appearances for Scotland and also turned out for the British Lions, was asked what motivates him to get up in the morning.

“The motivation for last week has been my wife’s birthday,” he said. “The next thing we are looking at is probably Christmas and my son’s 21st.

“Along the way, it’s trying to raise awareness. That was the thought from day one – ‘when you’ve got a problem, go find a solution’. And I think that still stays the same to this day.”