Alan Gray: Posthumous award for Denny’s MND campaigner

A Denny man who campaigned tirelessly to raise funds for, and awareness of, MND, has received a posthumous honour.

By Allan Crow
Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 10:44 am

Alan Gray was named as the recipient of the 2021 John Macleod Award given by charity MND Scotland.

It is bestowed annually to an individual or group who has made an exceptional contribution to the MND community,

The charity described Alan and his family as “a perfect example of those who have gone above and beyond to champion a cause close to their hearts.”

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Alan and Beverley Gray

Alan, who passed away last month, was a member of MND Scotland’s virtual peer support group and local Forth Valley support group prior to the pandemic.

He and his wife Beverley’s generosity was hugely appreciated by everyone in the group.

MND Scotland said as soon as a new member arrived, they would be invited to the Gray home for lunch or afternoon tea to look at the adaptations, receive handy practical tips about how to live life to the full with the condition, and be encouraged to keep a positive outlook.

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Alan Gray fundraising in 2018 for MND

Alan's knowledge about the disease, research and practical solutions to its challenges was also encyclopaedic and he devoted his time to ensure that those coming behind him benefitted from his knowledge, wisdom and humour.

Beverley said; “As a family we were first of all honoured and touched by the news that Alan had been nominated for the John Macleod Award.

“We are so grateful that Alan’s commitment to helping others in similar situations, and his attitude in always striving to better the support for the MND Community, was recognised.

“The award gives us a great deal of pride and is just a small insight to what Alan achieved, but it’s with heavy hearts that we wish he knew all that he had achieved.

“We will continue to support those through the support group and continue to raise awareness of motor neurone disease.”

Alan was diagnosed with MND on 2017, and helped to raise awareness of the condition by sharing his story publicly, and even featured on BBC News to promote the launch of the biggest clinical drug trial in the UK - MND-SMART.

He was a patient representative on the steering committee and the first person to be recruited onto the pioneering trial in January 2020.

Family and friends have dedicated themselves to fundraising for MND Scotland and to date, it is estimated they have raised over £20,000 to support MND Scotland.

Alan also took on MND Scotland’s annual fun runs in his wheelchair and also featured in the charity’s 2020 Christmas appeal, which raised £40,000.

Fundraising has continued after his passing, with donations being requested at his funeral. His son Ross will be taking part in the charity’s Himalayas Trek next year.

Rachel Maitland, MND Scotland's chief executive, said: "Alan left a lasting impression on everyone he encountered.

“The enormous work that he and his family continue to do is something that no one at MND Scotland will forget.

“We are honoured to have known Alan and thank him for everything that he contributed to the MND community.”

Donations in memory of Alan can be made to Ross's Himalayas trek fundraiser at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rossgray

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