Thursday 25 April 2019

'She was an incredible, courageous woman' - Tributes paid to campaigner who died following battle with MND

Jan Battles campaigned fearlessly for sufferers of motor neurone disease
Jan Battles campaigned fearlessly for sufferers of motor neurone disease
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

A “courageous” campaigner for motor neurone disease has died, five years after she was diagnosed with the condition.

Jan Battles (46), originally from Waterford but living in Dublin, fronted a national radio awareness campaign in 2014, where she told how the disease had caused her health and mobility to rapidly deteriorate.

This morning, the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association issued a statement, paying tribute to Ms Battles on Twitter.

“She was an incredible, courageous woman and our thoughts are with her family during this time.”

Jan was diagnosed with MND in 2013. In 2014, she fronted the awareness campaign and persuaded Kodaline to headline two nights in Whelan’s in Dublin to raise funds and awareness for the IMNDA.

“We are truly heartbroken to hear this very sad news. Jan was a real force to be reckoned with,” Maeve Leahy, PR & Communications Executive said.

“She spoke openly and honestly about the true impact of living with Motor Neurone Disease. She bravely fronted our national MND awareness month in 2014 and also took on several fundraising initiatives.”

“She was a very courageous woman and will be sorely missed. We would just like to extend our deepest sympathy to her family and friends. May she rest in peace,” Ms Leahy added.

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a progressive neurological condition that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord. This means messages gradually stop reaching muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting.  MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. However, not all symptoms necessarily happen to everyone and it is unlikely they will all develop at the same time, or in any specific order.

There are currently over 370 people living with MND in Ireland. MND is often referred to as the "1,000 day disease" as most people die within 1,000 days of being diagnosed. One person dies every every days from MND.

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