A DUNFERMLINE woman living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) went on a 'Wee Wander' to raise support for the condition.

Moira Chittenden, 58, was diagnosed with MND in October 2021. Her left hand is paralysed, her right hand is deteriorating and she is beginning to experience stiffening in her legs but, despite all of this, she took part in the Edinburgh Kiltwalk last weekend.

Moira, better known as Mo, took part in the walk on Sunday, September 18 and while she was feeling apprehensive, she knew she would be able to do it. Speaking before the challenge, she said: "I felt very positive when I signed up but, unfortunately, I've deteriorated since then.

"The MND has now spread to my legs, and they have started to stiffen, and I also have minor muscle atrophy. So, my frame of mind is now mind over matter and I will succeed!"

MND is a terminal disease that progresses rapidly; it stops signals from the brain getting to the muscles. With a life expectancy of just 18 months after diagnosis, it can affect a person's ability to walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe.

Mo first noticed something was wrong in 2019, she recalled: "I started having to ask my husband, John, to take off lids for me in November 2019. By January, it was still getting worse and when John noticed muscle loss in my left (dominant) hand between my thumb and forefinger, he insisted that I needed to see my GP.

"Interestingly, John had tried to teach me how to ride a bike in 2010 and although I could ride forward and turn right, I could never turn left. I lost my balance every time I tried. I think that was the beginning of my MND as it first manifested on my left side."

She went to her GP in late 2019 and was diagnosed the following year after she underwent a nerve conduction study. She received her diagnosis just two days after the test.

Husband John said: "Finding out that Mo has MND was absolutely devastating and for quite a while I was living in a state of shock. Trying to get my head around the idea of losing her sooner than expected is something that I still find difficult to comprehend."

Mo has had to adapt to her illness constantly. She said: "The biggest challenge is finding ways to cope. When my left hand became paralysed, I taught myself to write with my right. Now my right hand is going the same way. I've had to experiment with different cutlery and ways of holding it so I can still feed myself. You're constantly problem-solving with MND."

She has been helped greatly and encouraged by MND Scotland and it is their work that motivated her to take on the Kiltwalk's 'Wee Wander', a four-mile walk from Gypsy Brae in Edinburgh to BT Murrayfield.

"The support I have received from MND Scotland has been absolutely brilliant and I want to do what I can to give back to the people that have supported me throughout my MND journey. I honestly don’t think I would have made it this far without them!" she added.

Rachel Maitland, CEO of MND Scotland, offered her encouragement before the big day, saying: "Mo’s spirit and determination are an inspiration to everyone at MND Scotland and we feel extremely lucky to have her walking with us at the Edinburgh Kiltwalk.

"It’s heartwarming to hear that we have been able to provide her with vital emotional and practical support and thanks to people like Mo, we will be able to continue to provide other people affected by MND with the same level of care in the future."

To show support to Mo and her cause, visit her Kiltwalk fundraising page at https://edinburgh.thekiltwalk.co.uk/fundraising/EdinburghKiltwalk2022-MoiraChittenden