Tributes paid to MND campaigner Gordon Aikman who has died at 31
Better Together and Labour activist Gordon Aikman dies after high profile campaign for a cure for Motor Neurone Disease
Gordon Aikman and Joe Pike - credit the Aikman family
Scottish politicians and other prominent figures have paid tribute to Motor Neurone Disease (MND) campaigner Gordon Aikman, who has died aged 31.
He was terminally diagnosed with MND in 2014 while he worked as a researcher for the Better Together campaign.
He went on to form the high-profile ‘Gordon’s Fightback’ campaign which successfully lobbied for NHS Scotland to have double the number of specialist nurses for the disease and raised over £500,000 for research into a cure.
In a statement his family said: "We are heartbroken. Gordon was beautiful, kind, funny and utterly determined. He achieved more in the few short years after his diagnosis with MND than many of us do in a lifetime.”
His husband, the journalist Joe Pike (pictured with Aikman), tweeted: “My beautiful husband @GordonAikman has died. We are all heartbroken. He was my best friend, my soulmate and the love of my life.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also express sadness on twitter. “I'm so terribly sad to hear that Gordon Aikman has died. He faced adversity with incredible courage and did so much good for others.
“Gordon's campaign to raise awareness of @MNDScotland and achieve better care and treatment for those diagnosed was inspirational.”
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale was a friend of Aikman, who had been a Labour activist.
“I will miss Gordon's smile, his laugh, his energy, his brilliant dance moves and terrible singing voice, and his positive outlook on life despite the hand he was dealt towards the end,” she said.
“I will miss his advice and I will miss campaigning with him to advance the causes dear to us. But most of all I will miss just spending time with my friend.”
Dugdale donates her fee for her weekly newspaper column to Gordon’s Fightback.
"Gordon's constant determination to do good for others was an antidote to a world so full of fear and anger. I hope that will be his legacy," she added.
Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie also said Aikman had left a “great legacy”.
“This is incredibly sad news. Gordon was a generous and determined gentleman. My thoughts go out to Joe, Gordon’s family and friends,” he said.
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