Devoted husband and father of four opens up about life with MND

Mark Ferguson, a 43-year-old Aberdeen native, who is living with motor neuron disease (MND), is bravely sharing his story to raise awareness around the disease and what life is like living with MND. 

In September 2022, Mark sought medical attention due to a persistent arm spasm that he had been having difficulty with since June. Initially attributing it to tiredness, unfitness, or age, Mark’s concern deepened when he experienced a sudden limp one night while out with friends.  

Determined to seek answers, Mark promptly contacted his doctor and after a series of tests, he was referred to a neurologist, where he received the worrying suggestion that his symptoms could be indicative of motor neuron disease (MND). 

MND is a rapidly progressing terminal illness, which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles. This can cause someone to lose the ability to walk, talk, swallow or breathe unaided and the average life expectancy is just 18 months from diagnosis. 

Recalling the events leading to his diagnosis, Mark said: “My wife Lucy came with me to the initial appointment with the neurologist, which was about two weeks after my visit to the doctor. I had to have various tests done and the neurologist said the same thing as my GP, saying that he had 90% certainty that it was MND.  

Along with wife Lucy (35), Mark is a dedicated father to four children: Chloe (24), Mylo (11), Luther (5), and August (2). 

He continued: “A week later, a nerve induction test showed that it was MND and three weeks after that, an MRI scan was performed, which was the final test and confirmed without any doubt that I had MND.” 

Despite the imminent news, Mark requested to postpone discussing the results until after the new year, to cherish the Christmas season with his family. 

Sadly, on January 5th 2023, Mark received the terrible news and was officially diagnosed with MND. 

Since his diagnosis, Mark’s mobility has been greatly affected, requiring him to rely on a walking stick due to his walking becoming laboured. Additionally, he has experienced a significant loss of power and dexterity in his hands.  

He said: “Physically, it is tough for me and every day there’s a new struggle but it’s the emotional and mental side that is hard. Watching my kids and wife go about their days is inspiring but your mind can’t help but look to a future where you are not there and that breaks my heart. Staying positive can be tough but my Father-In-Law gave me some great advice early on to live each day as it comes and that has really helped me live in the moment.” 

Despite the challenges he faces, Mark continues to work as a Senior Data Analyst for Wood in Aberdeen, with unwavering support from his workplace.  

Describing the support, he has received from family and friends, Mark said: “My wife Lucy has been my rock. My two eldest children (Chloe and Mylo) have been amazing. Chloe even moved her wedding from 2025 to May 27th, with just 7 weeks planning, so I could walk her down the aisle and my two little ones are getting used to me being a bit slower, which is hard to watch but they keep me going.  

“My friends have been unbelievable as well, and I never feel alone or different. Despite everything I count myself the luckiest man in the world.” 

Mark has also used MND Scotland’s support services, which many people in Scotland affected by MND rely on and that are only made available thanks to our generous donors and fundraisers.     

On the support provided by MND Scotland, Mark said: “We have had grants to help make things a little easier, a wee break at the chalet in St Andrews, great legal advice about wills, as well as people to talk to and advise us. Like most people, we have never gone through anything like this before and the support has been invaluable. 

We took advantage of the chalet at the beginning of the year and had such a great time. The chalet itself was massive, immaculate and had everything we could of needed. The facilities on site were brilliant, swimming, golf, restaurant and bar and we are looking forward to heading back there in October. 

Mark had previously played in a band called The Tijuana Sun and friends suggested that they get back together for one last gig. The night sold out in two hours and on the 12th May, Mark and his bandmates played to a packed venue, raising over £5,500 for MND charities.  

Sharing his outlook on life after living with MND for 7 months, Mark said: “After my diagnosis I swore to live my life as it should be lived, and I wanted to help people also despite being ill. I heard a quote once that said, ‘Society becomes great when old men plant trees they shall never sit under’ and that really struck a chord with me, so if I can help anyone with MND I will, just as I have had help from people with MND also.” 

Thanking Mark for sharing his story, MND Scotland CEO, Rachel Maitland said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to Mark for bravely sharing his story and helping to raise awareness around MND, which not only helps people understand how devastating the disease is but also plays an important role in our ability to secure funding for vital research. 

It’s also wonderful to learn that Mark and his family have been able to find assistance through our support services. It’s always reassuring to know that the services provided by MND Scotland are making a difference in the lives of the people we are here to support and I hope Mark and his family are able to make more precious memories on their next trip to our chalet.”   

You can help to support more people like Mark by making a donation here. For more information about our holiday services, please visit us here. 

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