'I was told I had three years': Former Whitley Bay footballer talks about MND diagnosis 14 years on

  • Video report by Jonny Blair

A former Whitley Bay footballer diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) has spoken about his condition and how he is beating the odds.

Mark Taylor was initially given three years to live when he was diagnosed in 2009 just months after winning the FA Cup vase.

He told ITV Tyne Tees: "When I was diagnosed the doctors told me I would likely die within three years. Obviously that was incredibly difficult to hear.

"I didn't think I would see 30, never mind 40. I will be having a birthday party so it will be good to see everyone."

Mr Taylor uses a computer to communicate with others due to limited movement in his body.

He described it as his "lifeline to independence" as he is able to control the environment of his house on it as well as communicate with friends.

What is MND?

Motor neurone disease is a condition affecting the brain and the nerves, causing weakness which worsens over time.

It is currently incurable and treatments are available to reduce the impact it has on a person's daily life.

Having a related condition called frontotemporal dementia can sometimes mean you are more likely to get MND, according to the NHS.

In most cases, the condition does not run in families.

Mr Taylor told ITV Tyne Tees: "My diagnosis has left me severely disabled, I am on a ventilator all of the time, and can't move my body at all apart from a little movement in my feet."

The former footballer was part of Whitley Bay's winning squad in 2009 when they lifted the FA Vase cup trophy.

Now Mr Taylor hopes to raise awareness of the condition.

His sister Gemma Ormston said: "We are incredibly proud of him as a family, we always have been.

"It's not just how he's living his life with MND, but also the awareness he's raised around it. Maybe it can give a bit of hope to people who may be newly diagnosed with MND, showing that it's possible to live your life with it."

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