Ian Flatt diagnosed with terminal Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is scaling remarkable heights in a courageous bid to raise funds for Leeds Hospitals Charity and the MND Association.
Ian, 56, who needs a ventilator for 16 hours a day, is scaling Snowdon in his off -road wheelchair on May 4th to raise funds for Leeds Hospitals Charity’s appeal to build a new Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease for the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
Julian Hartley, CEO of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said, ‘A new Motor Neurone Disease centre for Leeds will provide us with an opportunity to bring in the latest technology and care provision for those living with MND and provide an aspirational space for those working in this field, with an opportunity to further our understanding and treatment of this cruel condition. This is an exciting prospect and we have been so impressed by the fundraising efforts so far, particularly the superhuman efforts of Ian.’
Snowdon is 1085 metres in height. The challenge is the equivalent of climbing 4,610 steps.
The £5m appeal is backed by the former Leeds Rhinos player, Rob Burrow MBE, who was diagnosed with MND in late 2019.
Both men are both cared for at Seacroft Hospital, where the MND centre is currently based; built in the early 20th century, it is now showing its age.
In the first sixth months of its launch the appeal has raised £2m of the £5m needed to build the new state of the art Centre, complete with gardens.
Ian, who is supported by his wife Rachael and two daughters, was diagnosed with MND in 2019. Ian has completed two 100 -mile treks in aid of the MND Association and the Leeds Hospitals Charity, Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease since 2019, raising a staggering £22,877.
Ian said: “The Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease is very important to us as a family. We’re passionate about supporting other families going through this difficult disease. The support of the team at Leeds and their specialist help is so crucial for us to live as well as we can as a family. Whilst my mobility, dexterity and respiratory functions are failing, my sense of adventure remains intact.”
Patients will have access to a range of holistic support tailored to their needs in a non-clinical setting, from tech support, speech and language therapy, to diet and nutrition advice, and physiotherapy.
An incredible forty friends and family will be joining Ian and his family on his Snowdon trek, including staff from the MND Centre and Leeds Hospitals Charity.
Esther Wakeman, CEO of Leeds Hospitals Charity said: “Ian is a tremendous inspiration to all of us. Motor Neurone Disease is a disease for which there is no treatment or cure. The new centre will provide a space for patients and their loved ones to enjoy special moments together and spark a change to MND care across the nation.”
The challenge is just before national Motor Neurone Disease Awareness month, which takes place in June.
Photographs of Ian and his wife attached, courtesy of Lorne Campbell, Guzelian Media.
Notes for editors:
About Motor Neurone Disease
Motor neurone disease (MND) affects the nerves – called motor neurones – in the brain and spinal cord. MND is a life-shortening disease with no cure. Although the disease will progress, symptoms can be managed to help achieve the best possible quality of life.
With MND, messages from the motor neurones gradually stop reaching the muscles. This leads the muscles to weaken, stiffen and waste. MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. Some people also experience changes to their thinking and behaviour. However, MND affects everyone differently. Not all symptoms will affect everyone, or in the same order. Symptoms also progress at varying speeds, which makes the course of the disease difficult to predict.
MND can affect adults of any age but is more likely to affect people over 50. There is a 1 in 300 risk of being diagnosed with MND. However, the prevalence of a disease is the number of people currently living with that condition. As the progression of MND can be rapid, fewer people are living with this disease than might be expected with a 1 in 300 risk. This means the prevalence is low, with up to 5,000 people living with MND in the UK at any one time. This is why MND is not seen as a common disease. Source MND Association
About Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Leeds Teaching Hospitals is one the largest and busiest acute hospital trusts in Europe. Every year Leeds Teaching Hospitals provides healthcare and specialist services for people from the city of Leeds, Yorkshire and the Humber and beyond. We play an important role in the training and education of medical, nursing and dental students, and are a centre of world-class research and pioneering new treatments.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals has a budget of £1.4 billion and employs around 20,000 people. Last year (2019/2020), the Trust provided over 1,645,000 treatments and episodes of care.
Our care and clinical expertise is delivered from seven hospitals on five sites, and they are all joined by our vision to be the best for specialist and integrated care.
Our staff helped to define the values and behaviours that we should work to, and this has become known as The Leeds Way. This forms the foundation of our culture, our ethos and how we work every day.
About Leeds Hospitals Charity
Leeds Hospitals Charity is the charity for Leeds Teaching Hospitals. We support NHS staff to deliver the best care for patients and their families, by raising funds for equipment, services, education and research.
Leeds Hospitals Charity provides support for eight areas which include Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds Children’s Hospital, Leeds Cancer Centre, St James’s University Hospital, Chapel Allerton Hospital, Seacroft Hospital, Wharfdale Hospital and Leeds Dental Institute.
Leeds Hospitals Charity supports NHS staff to deliver the best care for over a million patients and their families each year. Working with local communities, schools and businesses across the city and beyond, each year we provide £5 million in additional funding for Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust.