For the last seven months personal trainer and chartered accountant Alex Gibson has been on an emotional roller coaster, after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
The 40-year-old father of two, from Brentwood in Essex, has always held the highest standards in his health and fitness – having previously represented the country in athletics.
However in recent years, Alex has had difficulties with his movement and speech.
“I recall two to three years ago a particularly nice day, like it is today,” he tells i.
‘I totally lost my balance one day’
“I was taking the dog for a walk and stepped outside the house, and totally lost my balance and fell over.”
He describes how an elderly lady came over to help him back on his feet.
“I reassured her everything was in order and that it was just a particular incident,” he says.
“But with hindsight it meant I was on the road to developing MND.”
After a long road of tests and expert advice, Alex was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in January of this year.
Motor neurone disease is a fatal, rapidly progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, attacking the nerves that control movement so muscles no longer work.
Disease with no cure
It can leave people locked in a failing body, unable to move, talk and eventually breathe.
Six people per day are diagnosed with MND in the UK.
There is currently no cure for the disease.
Alex’s wife Cheryl describes the impact the diagnosis has had on the family.