Doddie Weir’s inspiring campaign to raise awareness about motor neurone disease has an entertaining new string to its bow in 2020 – the launch of his new Dodcast podcast.
Hosted by Jill Douglas and supported by RugbyPass and Aberdeen Standard Investments, the debut episode of the Jim Hamilton-Tim Groves produced series discusses Weir’s career, his reaction to being diagnosed with MND and how he is living with the condition.
In the company of guest Kenny Logan, he also opens up about the emotion of walking on to the Murrayfield turf with his sons ahead of Scotland’s game against the All Blacks in November 2017.
Presenter Douglas said: “We are going to be doing a series of these because we thought it would be fun to share some memories, some of the great times Doddie had on the rugby field, stories about his life, his friends.
“But also just to share some of the experience since he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease which is coming up for three years since that diagnosis, Christmas 2016.”
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Just over three years on from the start of that difficult journey and the launch of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, Weir provided listeners with an encouraging update about how he is currently coping with the disease. “It has been a bit of a journey. I have been very lucky,” he said about the challenges he faces in everyday living.
“Other patients with MND haven’t been so lucky because the average life expectancy for someone with MND is between one and three years so for me to be living three years after diagnosis, don’t know why, don’t know how. It has been been a bit of a frustrating journey in some ways but quite an unbelievable journey in a lot of other ways because the support and generosity we have received has been truly humbling.
“Sometimes I have to remember I have got MND and that is the biggest issue I have. When I go out and have a couple of beers I have got to remember that I’m not as able-bodied as I used to be so I have got to be aware and concentrating on where I am going.
Introducing the first Dodcast! A series of podcasts with Doddie and friends talking rugby, life and living with MND – candid as ever but with his trademark humourhttps://t.co/KAh1WKUNOZ
— My Name'5 Doddie Foundation (@MNDoddie5) December 20, 2019
“I have just got to remember where I am. I am very fortunate that I can pretty much do everything… eating is well, speaking is well, drinking is well, still driving, still walking, still enjoying things so no complaints.”
The first podcast in the series was released in the lead-up to Christmas, with a second episode due in the coming weeks. Former Scotland international Hamilton, co-producer of the series, added: “He is interviewing doctors and people that have been affected by MND, but there is also a rugby element to it as well.
“As a player, he was a cult hero, the way that he played, his look, his personality. He is a guy that everyone loves and warms to. He is on the after-dinner circuit and he gives people so much time. That is what people love about him.
“He is going through this fight with MND. The big thing is they loved him before and what he is doing now to raise awareness with MND means they love him even more now and the respect, humility and strength of character he has shown in the face of this adversity is showcasing what he is as a human and what he is as a man.
“He has got a load of accolades recently. He was on sports personality of the year, down at Buckingham Palace. This series will be telling his story.”
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