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Former Norwich nightclub worker gets stuck into the marshmallow challenge to improve MND care

PUBLISHED: 09:41 12 October 2014 | UPDATED: 09:41 12 October 2014

A former nightclub worker from Norwich, who was diagnosed with a progressive terminal illness two years ago, is urging people to get behind a tasty social media campaign to help raise vital funds for a specialist care centre.
Daniel Maccoll, 31, pictured centre was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in 2012 after developing muscle weakness and extreme fatigue.

A former nightclub worker from Norwich, who was diagnosed with a progressive terminal illness two years ago, is urging people to get behind a tasty social media campaign to help raise vital funds for a specialist care centre. Daniel Maccoll, 31, pictured centre was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in 2012 after developing muscle weakness and extreme fatigue.

A former nightclub worker from Norwich, who was diagnosed with a progressive terminal illness two years ago, is urging people to get behind a tasty social media campaign to help raise vital funds for a specialist care centre.

Motor neurone disease

Motor neurone disease is a progressive disease which attacks the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, gradually stopping messages from reaching the muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting. The disease causes a range of difficulties, and can affect how people walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. Although there is currently no cure, and most people with the illness die within five years of diagnosis, it is possible to manage the symptoms so that patients can enjoy the best possible quality of life.

■For more information visit Motor Neurone Disease Association’s website at www.mndassociation.org

Daniel Maccoll, 31, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in 2012 after developing muscle weakness and extreme fatigue.

He now receives specialist care at the Priscilla Bacon Centre and said he was “so grateful” for his treatment that he wanted to launch a new charity campaign to say thank you - while raising awareness about his condition.

Before becoming ill, Mr Maccoll worked in nightclubs and restaurants across the world. He said: “I knew something was wrong when I started noticing lots of different symptoms. It seemed like everything was just becoming much more difficult for me.

“Despite this, it was still a shock to be given the diagnosis.”

How to get involved

To take part, upload your video to your Facebook page, remembering to nominate your friends by tagging them. You can also post your video, and watch others who have completed the challenge, on Daniel’s page, at www.facebook.com/marshmallowchallenge.

Anyone mentioning the challenge on Twitter is being encouraged to follow Daniel @DanielMaccoll and use the hashtag #marshmallowchallenge.

To donate text PBLS22 and the amount to 70070.

He is now encouraging people to take part in the marshmallow challenge with the aim to get people to put ten marshmallows into their mouth and say a tongue twister of their choice before nominating friends to do the same and making a donation.

It is hoped the fundraiser will share some of the success of the recent ice bucket challenge.

“My speech was one of the first things to go and now I find communication very difficult,” he added. “When I talk, people assume I’m drunk, which can be very frustrating.

“I came up with the marshmallow challenge to not only raise money but also awareness of the problems which people with MND have with communication. Hopefully everyone who tries to talk with a mouthful of marshmallows will realise just how difficult it can be for people like me.”

Mr Maccoll currently has physiotherapy twice a week at the Norwich-based Priscilla Bacon Centre - run by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust to help provide specialist end-of-life services - and has nothing but praise for the care he has received.

Several of the nursing staff at the Priscilla Bacon Centre, which is part of the Colman Hospital in Unthank Road, have already signed up for the squishy challenge.

• Are you raising money for charity? Email reporter donna-louise.bishop@archant.co.uk.

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