Doddie Weir

September 2, 2023

I’ve just been having a discussion about Doddie Weir on rugby chat with the lads and I brought up Rob Burrow who is also going through Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

When I mentioned that a former boyfriend had withdrawn contact when he had been diagnosed with the same condition, someone said “a lot of them don’t want people to know, so they hide”.

While we each make decisions about our life, the one thing Doddie did was to put MND on the map again. It takes bravery, but also honesty to admit he had a much reduced lifespan; to me it felt like he was saying:

“I’m dying, so help me live what I have left”…
As Abraham Lincoln said:
In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. 

Dodie was an inspiration to many of us who watched him make his first speech about MND. His unswerving love for the game was evident and it’s touching to see that his tartan has been incorporated into the Scottish WC team shirts for the Rugby World Cup 2023.

For anyone wanting to donate to Doddie’s Foundation, here is a link to his page:

https://www.myname5doddie.co.uk/who-we-are/

I am sad my former bf never felt able to tell me the truth. When I first saw a notice in the University newsletter that he had died from MND, I cried for over four hours; and I’m not ashamed to admit that I am tearing up a little now as I write this.

He was my first real love, probably to my parents’ concern, as he was 18 years older, but he absolutely adored me. Even when I was working up in London, I would finish early on a Friday so I could take the train back to Exeter and spend the weekend with him. 

Falling asleep listening to him reading Baudelaire to me and half waking up as he was carrying me up to bed – precious memories. His home was part of an older estate and itself surrounded by old walls; it became my castle for nearly two years. 

It takes courage to admit we closer to death than the norm and yet we are all heading to that same destination; some of us just have the privilege of being on different paths which will take longer than others. 

If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with a life limiting condition, and you would like to talk, please reach out to us.



 

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