A Fife man who has helped raise more than £700,000 for research into motor neurone disease since his best friend died of the condition is in the running for a top charity award.
MND Scotland chairman Lawrence Cowan, from Dunfermline, made a promise to do everything he could to bring drugs trials to Scotland before his friend, campaigner Gordon Aikman, died in 2017, aged just 31.
That promise became a reality in January with the launch of the UK’s biggest MND drugs trial.
Lawrence has been shortlisted for the charity champion category of this year’s SCVO Scottish Charity Awards, following in the footsteps of his late friend, who won the accolade in 2016.
During Lawrence’s leadership as MND Scotland’s chairman, the charity achieved its highest income to date and invested £1.5 million into the pioneering drugs trial MND-SMART – the largest investment into research the charity has every made.
He said: “This year we’ve made a historic leap forward in our fightback against MND.
“A few years ago drug trials for people with MND in Scotland were just a drea. Now almost everyone will be able to get on a drug trial in Scotland.
“We’re now at the cutting edge of treatment trials in the UK. We got here through people moving mountains for those they love and those they’ve lost.
“This nomination is for everyone in our MND community who have made history and I hope I can do them proud on the night.”
Two other MND charities have also been shortlisted for awards.
The My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, founded by rugby legend Doddie Weir after his diagnosis in 2016, is nominated for charity of the year, while Euan MacDonald, who founded an MND research centre in Edinburgh, is also shortlisted in the charity champion category.
SCVO chief executive Anna Fowlie said: “The awards are a great way of celebrating and recognising the people and organisations who make our voluntary sector a crucial part of every part of life in Scotland.
“Our finalists are fantastic.”