MND Association brings in specialists as patrons

The Motor Neurone Disease Association has replaced most of its patrons with high-profile people with links to the disease. It has also appointed a celebrity manager to boost awareness and fundraising.

An association spokeswoman said the charity had not made best use of its patrons. After it wrote to its eight former ones about the new strategy, five stepped down and three remained. Five news ones have been appointed.

The new president is neuroscientist and MND expert Colin Blakemore. The other four new patrons are: cosmologist and MND sufferer Professor Stephen Hawking; neurologist and first sub-four-minute miler Sir Roger Bannister; palliative medicine consultant Baroness Ilora Finlay; and philanthropist Joel Cadbury. Lembit Opik MP, whose father died of MND, has stepped down as president but will remain as a patron.

A spokeswoman for the association said: "We wanted to make sure we had patrons who had real experience of MND."

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