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Police constable won't let Motor Neurone Disease take over his life

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a rare terminal disease that affects the nervous system - some can live with it for many years, but for most, it significantly shortens their life expectancy.

Good Morning Britain's Charlotte Hawkins lost her father to MND in 2015 - and ever since then, she has helped raise awareness for the condition that has affected the lives of so many families.

What is Motor Neurone Disease?

  • MND relates to a group of diseases that affect the nerves in the brain and spinal cord that control your muscles.

  • According to the Motor Neurone Disease Association, messages that come from these nerves slowly stop reaching the muscles, which can cause them to weaken, stiffen and eventually waste.

On the show, we spoke to a family who is facing the ordeal of living with this condition. Chris Johnson was promoted to Assistant Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police - but then six months later he was diagnosed with MND.

Chris said: “Only thing you have with the disease is how you choose to face it. You can either let it take over your life and define you - or you can try and battle through and help to raise awareness and support.”

But Chris says he will continue to work as long as possible, despite his condition.

What are the symptoms of MND?

  • Muscle weakness

  • Muscle cramps/spasms

  • Stiff joints

  • Pain or discomfort

  • Speech and communication difficulties

  • Saliva problems and difficulty swallowing

  • Breathing issues

  • Changes to thought patterns and behaviour

  • Emotional lability and changes in mood

For more information, visit the Motor Neurone Disease Association’s website or call their helpline on 0808 802 6262.

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