Doddie Weir has backed a petition handed in to Downing Street by Motor Neurone Disease campaigners calling for £50 million of funding for research into the disease.
The open letter, to the Prime Minister, contained fifty pages of signatures from hundreds of people and urges the government to direct the money towards targeted research over five years.
Doddie was due to have joined campaigners at Number 10 including former assistant chief constable Chris Johnson and ex-rugby player Rob Burrow but was unable to attend after it was discovered that he had been in close proximity to someone with Covid.
The letter states: “MND is a death sentence” but that “research has now reached a point where a cure or life-saving treatments can be found”.
It adds: “The current piecemeal and protracted approach of funding individual projects will not deliver the life-saving treatments we need… we urgently appeal for action and investment now”.
In June 2017, Doddie, the former Scotland rugby international, revealed he had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.
Since then the inspirational Borderer committed to helping anyone involved with MND.
In November of that year, he founded the registered charity, My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.
The group are looking for £50m from the UK Government which will be matched by charitable donations over the next five years to allow researchers to find a cure.
Ahead of the visit Doddie said: “The UK has the best researchers in the world and at the moment we are nearly there to try and find a stoppage or a cure. So this letter and the money from the government will make a massive difference.
“And the money is not a never ending pot. It’s only for five years which puts a lot of responsibility on the researchers and not only that the charities have said that they will fund the same amount as what the government will put in.
“So we are talking about an investment over the next five years of nigh on £100m and with that it will give a lot more hope to people with MND because, as you can see from the story of Rob Burrows, it’s quite a horrific issue and we need to get a little bit help and with this letter. With the help and the backing of the government, it will make a massive difference in trying to find a cure.”