Months to live and Simon wants to raise £1 million for charity
by JENNY MONROE
A FORMER Lisburn man who has only months to live after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone disease (MND) is asking local people to help him fulfil his dying wish by raising £1million for charity.
Simon Adams, 46, and his wife Maxine say they want to make the most of every second before Simon, a former pupil of Wallace High School, becomes 'imprisoned in his own body'.
Simon was diagnosed with MND last October. The devastating condition attacks nerve cells in the brain and spine, leading to muscle wastage, loss of mobility and progressive difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing. Following the diagnosis Simon wrote up a 'bucket list' of things to do before he dies including a massive fundraising drive for the MND Association. Unfortunately some of his wishes are no longer possible as he physically isn't able - but the dream of raising £1m to help research motor neurone disease is.
Simon said: "I want to make a difference to people's lives with the time I've got left.
"It's going to be hard raising the money but nothing's impossible.
'All money will, like my body, be used to research motor neurone disease in the hope that one day in the not too distant future the words 'you have motor neurone disease' will be followed by the phrase 'it is cureable'.
In just five months Simon and his supporters have raised a staggering £181,000 and aim to crack the £250,000 mark this Sunday at the Plymouth half marathon. Simon has 200 people running on his behalf with100 having pledged to raise £1000 each. His sister Claire and friend Lindsey Bennett (formerly Evans) of Lisburn are among the runners. Simon is a headteacher for Years 3 to 9 of the Plymouth Tuition Service which caters for children who have disengaged from mainstream education. The self-confessed mad sportsman and seasoned world traveller said that despite his 'death sentence, he is determined to live life to the full.
He explained: "The prognosis is quite simple, death. The timescale is anything up to three years from the time the symptoms became apparent. For me this was on a Christmas pub crawl in 2008 when I became unable to form words. In March I lost the use of my right arm. I am told that compared to many sufferers my diagnosis was quick.
"The horror of being diagnosed with a terminal disease for which there is very little effective medication, and which strikes sufferers down in a most undignified way, is hard to put into words."
Simon continued: "I have been overwhelmed by support of friends from all over the world, including old Lisburn schoolmates including McKelvey twins and John Evans who now lives in Perth."
He is also trying to raise awareness through a website about his bucket list on http://www.fatherabraham.co.uk. Anyone who would like to donate to Simon's fund can do so at www.justgiving.com/fatherabraham Simon and family would like to thank everyone for their valued support.