Gordon Aikman MND

Campaigner’s courage and determination united all across political divide. 

He was diagnosed with MND in 2014 when director of research for the Better Together campaign ahead of the Scottish independence referendum.

After receiving the shocking news, Aikman set up the charity Gordon Fights Back to raise money to find a cure for the disease.

Writing on the charity’s website he said: “I’m dying. And fast.

“That ‐ in short ‐ was what my doctor told me when I was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

“It’s not the news you expect when you are 29 years old.

“Motor neurone disease is a progressive and debilitating disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord. It leads to weakness and muscle wasting and will affect how I walk, talk, eat and breathe.

“There is no cure. Soon it will kill me.

“I don’t want pity. All I want is for you to take action to help fund a cure and fight for better care for people with MND.”

The former Labour party staffer died on Friday after a long battle with the condition, his husband Joe Pike confirmed.

He also successfully lobbied the First Minister to publicly fund and double the number of specialist MND nurses across Scotland.

Pike paid tribute to him in a Twitter post, saying: “My beautiful husband Gordon Aikman has died. We are all heartbroken.

“He was my best friend, my soulmate and the love of my life.”

Gordon Aikman MND

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said: “I am utterly bereft. Although we all knew time was precious, Gordon’s death comes as a shock.

“I have lost a best friend and the world has lost a man who made it a better place. I will keep Gordon’s husband Joe and all his family in my thoughts and prayers.

“The wedding of Gordon and Joe was one of the happiest days of my life. I will treasure those memories.

“I will miss Gordon’s smile, his laugh, his energy, his brilliant dance moves and terrible singing voice, and his positive outlook on life despite the hand he was dealt towards the end. I will miss his advice and I will miss campaigning with him to advance the causes dear to us. But most of all I will miss just spending time with my friend.

“All of us in the Labour Party will be forever grateful for his commitment to our movement, particularly during his time working in the Scottish Parliament and his pivotal role in the Better Together campaign. His death will be mourned by all those who had the pleasure to work alongside.

“Although we grieve for Gordon, we must not allow our sadness to erase the many happy memories we have of his time with us. To respond to his MND diagnosis by raising more than £500,000 for research into this horrible disease so that others don’t have to suffer like he did should inspire us all.

“Gordon’s constant determination to do good for others was an antidote to a world so full of fear and anger. I hope that will be his legacy.”

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