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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > October 2016 > A Life Well Travelled

A Life Well Travelled

For the past two years, Jody de Vos has been living with motor neurone disease (MND) – a fatal, rapidly progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, attacking the nerves that control movement so muscles no longer work. Forcing him to give up on his dream of living in Australia and a career in the travel industry, Jody has slowly lost the ability to walk, write, eat and speak. With his clock ticking, Jody bravely shares with us his experiences since his terminal diagnosis in a frank and honest manner in hope that his story shows how MND affects people from all communities – including our own.

MND is characterised by progressive degeneration of the motor nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. With no nerves to activate them, muscles weaken and waste. Symptoms include muscle weakness and paralysis, as well as impaired speaking, swallowing and breathing. In most cases, it does not affect intellect, memory or the senses. Progress is relentless and rapid, with a life expectancy of between two and five years from the onset of symptoms. There is no known cause and there is no known cure.

Which brings me to two years ago, on 2 July 2014, when my life was changed forever.

Following months of MRI scans and blood tests, my neurologist confirmed my own Google self-diagnosis – that MND was causing the twitching and spasms in my limbs. The month that followed was one of the most challenging times of my life. Not only did I have to deal with a terminal diagnosis, but I also started a new job, my relationship broke down after four years AND I had to move house! Just one of these would be enough for most people to handle. But nothing could’ve prepared me for the challenges that lay ahead.

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About Gay Times

Our brand new cover star is the next great LGBT+ role model and one of the most important queer musicians of our time – it’s Mykki Blanco. In our exclusive interview, Mykki pulls no punches as he takes on the music industry’s glass ceiling for gay artists, talks candidly about his HIV diagnosis and explains why he doesn’t want to be the “watchdog” of the gay media. Also in your brand new GT, Olympic gold medallist Callum Skinner opens up for the very first time about his gay family life in an exclusive interview, while we also shine a light on how the government is helping victims of LGBT+ hate crimes. Plus, we have exclusive interviews with Ricky Martin, Broadway star Ramin Karimloo and Maggie Wheeler – aka Janice from Friends. Oh… My… GAWD!