I think the media is the media. I’ve been in my local paper numerous times and as much as I’m pleased that they’re, it is making people aware of MND, I cannot help but almost tear my hair out that they seek their sensational headline. But, having said that, then I’m only too pleased for the amount of people that say, “Oh, I see you in the paper. MND, I never knew you had that. What’s that about?” And I’m able to have an in-depth conversation. So it’s vital that the awareness is stepped up. It’s something which sadly a disease which claims more and more lives, so it’s on the increase, which is factual, and it needs to be addressed that that is happening, and the reasons for that, and what the intentions to stop that rise are.
And I know that a small proportion of that is that people live longer, so obviously more people are able to contract an illness. So I can see that side. But it is something, especially in younger people, where at this moment in time it’s still predominantly a disease in males between forty and sixty but, nevertheless, there is more and more younger men and sometimes women contracting it. And I think the awareness level needs to be constantly sought to be kept up.
And what about the media’s portrayal of medical research generally? Same problem?
They, the media is, in brackets, a necessary evil. You need to keep people informed, but not always in the ways in which we are informed, and take away the media and you lose a lot of people and their awareness. So I’m saying really that we need the media. We need to try and have as much as possible put into the media about all illnesses, and what is happening in this field. So we need less secrecy. We need a more open government, which will say, “We are going to do this”, and be seen to be doing it. I’m obviously talking about stem cell research and other - and that is really where we stand, I think.