In January, Jan Battles and Paul Lannon, both of whom have Motor Neurone Disease (MND) recorded Radio Adverts to raise awareness of this disease and to try draw people’s attention to the difficulties they face every day.
“All you can do is try to cope with every challenge this illness throws at us and there are many. It is relentless. I couldn’t do it without Terry, he is my rock”, Jan Battles
Jan is 42 years old. She grew up in sunny south in the picturesque Dunmore East. Her parents still run a Guesthouse in this lovely Waterford Town. Jan went to school locally and loved it. She was a very active student. She excelled in languages and was a proud member of her school’s debate team. She played basketball, the piano and even sang.
Throughout her early childhood and school life, Jan dreamt of becoming an astronomer and studied Science in UCD. However, her love for languages never left and even after completing 4 years in science she decided it was no longer for her! She decided to study journalism in DIT in Rathmines and from there began a very successful career in journalism. She worked for The Sunday Times for 15 years and now currently works for the RTE Guide. In 1997, she met her husband Terry at a friend’s wedding and life seemed to be complete.
One of Jan’s other loves aside from her husband Terry, is her love for music. She is a self-professed Gary Barlow fanatic. She followed ‘Take That’ from their early days and when Gary Barlow went solo, Jan religiously followed him. It was during his first solo tour that she began to realise that something was wrong with her.
She tripped and fell at work spraining her ankle. However, after the fall she found the limp never really went away and she had to keep consciously lifting her right foot. She found she was struggling to keep up with her friends at Gary’s gigs as they followed the tour. At some of the shows her leg started to bounce uncontrollably.
In March 2013, Jan was diagnosed with MND. Soon after diagnosis she was walking with a stick, then she progressed to a rollator, now she is in a wheelchair. Her arms have become very weak. Her right shoulder sometimes dislocates as the muscles are no longer strong enough to hold her arm bone in place.
In the new adverts, Jan shares her story about ‘how MND affects her’ in the hope that greater awareness of this condition will lead to increased support for people like Jan and over 300 people that are living with MND in our country today.
Please listen to Jan’s Story.
100% of text cost goes to the IMNDA across most network providers, Some providers apply VAT which means the minimum amount of €1.63 will go to the IMNDA.
Why not organise Drink Tea for MND events throughout the month of June to mark Global MND/ALS Awareness on the 21st June. To register your event, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Freefone 1800 403 403
You can also visit an Insomnia store near you as IMNDA collection buckets will be there throughout the month of June and on the 21st with 10c from all tea sales to be donated to the IMNDA.