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11th June 2018

My Name’5 Doddie Foundation invests in MND research

Doddie Weir and the trustees of My Name’5 Doddie Foundation – the official charity of the 2018 GFI HKFC 10s – have agreed their first investment into MND research.

The Foundation will support the work of Chris Shaw, Professor of Neurology and Neurogenetics, and his team at King’s College London who are spearheading Gene Therapy for Sporadic Motor Neurone Disease (MND). They have agreed an investment of £400,000 to help Professor Shaw and his work.

This follows the independent report commissioned by the Trustees to help steer their strategy for investing in research into the causes of MND and seek potential cures.
Professor Shaw said: “This is absolutely terrific news. This is a game-changing commitment by the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation to employ the latest gene therapy technologies to develop revolutionary new treatments for people with motor neurone disease.
“This is a high risk, but potentially very high return, initiative that could make a dramatic impact on the course of this dreadful disease."
Weir said: “We have received incredible support since we launched the Foundation in November and it was important for us to take time and consider how best to use the funds we have raised wisely.
“Everyone has been so supportive and worked very hard to give us this opportunity and I would like to thank each and every one of those who has given their time, energy and hard-earned money to allow us to move forward and invest in research.

“I have said it before, but while it may be too late to find something that can help me, I am committed to doing everything I can to help find a cure.”
The former Scotland and Lions lock – who wore No. 5 for most of his career –  attended this year’s GFI HKFC 10s at Hong Kong Football Club, 24 years after competing in it.
In 1994, Weir was 23 when the 6ft 6in forward competed for Quality Street Gang Exiles in the iconic 10-a-side tournament along with Scotland internationals including fullback Gavin Hastings, flyhalf Gregor Townsend, wing Kenny Logan, hooker Kenny Milne and prop Paul Burnell.
Weir won 61 caps from 1990-2000 and went on to become a popular commentator and after-dinner speaker. In June 2017, he shocked many in the rugby world when he shared the news that he had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
The My Name’5 Doddie Foundation was created in November before a gala testimonial dinner was held in Weir’s honour in London.
The Foundation’s trustees comprise Scotland legends Scott Hastings, Finlay Calder OBE, John Jeffrey and Gary Armstrong – all part of the 1990 Grand Slam-winning squad and fellow Lions – as well as Doddie’s wife Kathy Weir and journalist and broadcaster Stewart Weir.

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