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The Unwanted Companion - One Man's Journey with Motor Neurons Disease

Thursday 21st June 2018

Today, Thursday 21 June, is Global Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Awareness Day 2018, committed to raising awareness of MND and the impact this has on thousands of people and families all across the world every year.

At St. Vincent’s Hospice in Renfrewshire, we know all too well the real affect and suffering which can be caused by this condition, and are proud to help support this cause in whatever way possible.

St Vincent’s Hospice began some thirty years ago 1988. It was not long before we needed a larger premises and so in June 1993, we moved from our original building in Johnstone to where we are now in Howwood. The Duchess of Norfolk officially opened our ‘new’ Hospice and one of the first patients through our doors was Peter McAinsh OBE. A vibrant, active and healthy man, Peter was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in December 1993 and very quickly experienced a radical decrease in his physical health and independence due to the deteriorating nature of the condition.

While many associate Hospice care with cancer, St. Vincent’s offer specialist care and support for individuals with a wide range of life-limiting conditions, and it was because of this that our team met Peter, when he was admitted to the Hospice for the last months of his life.

While at St. Vincent’s, he touched the lives of so many of our team, with several members of staff still fondly sharing memories of him to this day. During this time he decided to share his experiences and insight of the condition by writing a short book: The Unwanted Companion, One Man’s Journey with Motor Neurone Disease.

Today, nearly 25 years since its first publication, we are delighted to say that we have made this story available digitally for the first time, and you can download it simply by clicking here.

Even after all these years, Peter’s Story is a brave, inspirational and deeply personal insight into this condition and we hope that you will take the time to read and share his writing. Global MND Awareness Day is dedicated to not only raising awareness, but raising the profile of the range of research and ongoing efforts which are being made all around the world with the hope of one day being able to treat and cure this condition.

At St. Vincent’s we are proud to support this cause, and we continue to offer help and support through our services  to individuals affected by life limiting conditions, including MND, in Renfrewshire and beyond.


Kate Lennon

Chief Executive St. Vincent’s Hospice

The Unwanted Companion - One Man's Journey with Motor Neurons Disease