New Mayor of Luddenden speaks of living with same condition as rugby legend Rob Burrow

Mayor of Luddenden Stephen Parker remembers the exact time and day he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

Monday, 4th October 2021, 10:42 am
Updated Monday, 4th October 2021, 11:04 am
Mayor of Luddenden Stephen Parker

He had gone to an appointment expecting more of the tests he had been having to investigate why he was swaying when he walked only to be told he had the progressive, currently incurable disease.

”My wife broke down and was asking if the doctor was sure he’d got the right person,” said Mr Parker, 54.

MND affects everyone differently and Mr Parker’s progression is considered slow because while he has lost some strength and has had to stop driving, he can still walk.

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“Everybody says I’m positive about it but that’s the only choice I’ve got,” he said.

“It’s a case of right, you’ve got it, now get on with it. It’s a progressive disease and it’s only going one way.

“You have to deal with the hand you’ve been given. MND doesn’t give you any other choice. The biggest choice you’ve got is how you deal with it.”

Mr Parker is dedicating his year as mayor to raising funds for the MND Association, whose research and campaigning has recently been highlighted by rugby legend and MND patient Rob Burrow.

This year’s mayor making collected £6,700 - more than double last year’s total.

He has more events planned, including a curry challenge and wheelchair pub crawl.