Friends with same incurable illness thanked for helping charities close to their hearts

  • 15 June 2023

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2 femlaes behind 2 males wearing orange t-shirts and sitting in wheelchairs.

Lee Taylor and John Woods formed a special bond after both were diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

Together, with their friends and families, they hosted a Charity Ball at St Neots Priory Centre on Saturday 4 March 2023, raising £20,800 which has now been donated equally to Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association.  

Sadly, Lee, aged 46, died in May, just days after the cheques were presented at his final fundraiser for Arthur Rank Hospice Charity. The event involved friends and family – including his children Mya-Mai, aged nine, and Hudson, aged five, cycling around Grafham Water.

When Lee, of St Neots, was diagnosed with bulbar onset MND in 2019, he set himself a series of fundraising challenges and campaigned on Twitter to raise awareness of living positively.

He benefited from care and support from both charities and from the Addenbrooke’s MND Clinic hosted at the Hospice. His mantra was “I’m not living with MND, MND is living with me” which he shared at Arthur Rank Hospice Charity’s Annual Lecture in 2022.

Lee’s wife Tracey said:

“Lee was the most amazing husband and father. We are heartbroken but we are comforted by the fact that he was determined to leave us with so many memories and achieve so much to help others.”

Arthur Rank Hospice Charity’s Chief Executive, Sharon Allen, said:

“It was a privilege to engage with Lee. His positive attitude to living well for as long as possible will continue to help other people diagnosed with a life-limiting condition.”

“We are grateful to Lee and John and their families for all their support. The money they raised helps us provide holistic care for more people in Huntingdon, St Neots and across Cambridgeshire.”

Mr Woods, owner of St Neots Windows, said:

“When I was first diagnosed it was Lee’s positivity that helped me cope with thinking about what the future holds for someone with MND. After a while we supported each other and had a special bond. I miss him terribly, but his legacy will live on forever just as he wanted it to. He was a legend.”

Sharon King, Regional Fundraiser for the MND Association, said:

“We really appreciate the funds raised by John, Lee and all their family and friends.”

Sharon added:

“Recently Tracey and her daughter Mya-Mai represented Lee at our event with our patron HRH Princess Royal, where we were able to thank them personally for all their support.”

Lee did not want a funeral. A celebration of his life is being held on June 16.

You can read Lee’s Story here: