Topsham man raises £4,000 for motor neurone disease

PUBLISHED: 10:00 21 May 2016


A kind-hearted Topsham man has raised around £4,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association after walking the Brighton Marathon.

Motor neurone disease is a progressive disease that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord. This means messages gradually stop reaching the muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting.

The disease kills a third of people suffering from it within a year and more than half within two years of diagnosis.

The Motor Neurone Disease Association estimates that 5,000 people can be affected up to any one day.

David McLarin, 66, of Newcourt Road, said he took part in the Brighton Marathon in memory of his business partner’s wife, who died from motor neurone disease.

He said: “I walked the Brighton Marathon. I did it for my business partner John Sharples, whose wife Sue died from motor neurone disease.

“She was such a lovely, active person and then she became locked in her own body. We have raised around £4,000.

“I would like to say a big thank-you to everyone, who has donated so far. The crowd were fantastic. We impressed the Motor Neurone Disease Association as we finished 40 minutes earlier than expected. It was a fantastic experience.

“It is a horrible disease and motor neurone disease needs more research investment. I’m considering doing a cycle ride for the charity next time.”

Six people are diagnosed with motor neurone disease every day. Six people also die from the disease every day.

Motor neurone disease can leave people locked in a failing body, unable to move, talk, swallow and eventually breathe.

Around 35 per cent of people experience mild cognitive change causing difficulties with planning, decision-making and language.

A further 15 per cent of people show signs of a form of dementia, resulting in more pronounced behavioural change.

A person’s lifetime risk of developing motor neurone disease is up to one in 300. That’s one person in an average size cinema screen.

For more information about motor neurone disease, visit

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