THE diagnosis of a Selkirk man with a degenerative illness led to hill race organisers in his native town backing the nationwide charity which will support him.

Fraser Bell, who now lives near Livingston, is suffering from motor neurone disease.

The 50-year-old faces a difficult future with the progressive disease that attacks nerves in both the brain and spine.

The nationwide charity MND Scotland will provide support for Fraser and his family throughout his fight.

Earlier this year runners and walkers completed the Heart Burn Run to raise funds for MND Scotland as well as supporting a local children's rugby tour.

And this week Sheila Cochrane from the organising committee handed over a cheque for £367.

Sheila told us: "We met with Fraser before the race and he was very upbeat despite recently being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

"We try to make our choice of charities as local as possible and supporting MND Scotland was the obvious choice considering Fraser's diagnosis."

Collecting the cheque this week on behalf of MND Scotland was 73-year-old Will Roberts.

Mr Roberts, who lives in Hawick, was practice manager at Selkirk Health Centre for over a decade.

After losing his wife, Ellie, to motor neurone disease five years ago he became a trustee of the charity.

And later this year he will attempt a six day trek along the gruelling Inca Trail in memory of his wife and also to raise funds.

Will said: "My beautiful wife Ellie was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2010 and passed away just 18 months later, in May 2012.

"The charity MND Scotland helped me care for her through that terrible illness, which to date has no known cause or cure.

"Shortly after her death I became a trustee of the charity, which continues to provide invaluable care and support to MND sufferers and their families, and to promote research into the causes and treatment.

"That work costs a lot, and the organisation desperately needs help to maintain its work."

Motor neurone disease can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe.

Although there is currently no cure, symptoms can be managed to help sufferers achieve the best possible quality of life.

Since Ellie's death, Mr Roberts has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with 27 friends to raise money for MND Scotland.

And the couple's daughter, Beccy, rode over 2500 miles around UK in just 28 days, to also raise funds.

Sheila, from the Heart Burn race organisers, added: "When Will heard we were raising money for MND Scotland he came over and completed the race.

"MND Scotland isn't a charity that gets a lot of attention and it certainly deserves our support."

Mr Roberts has set a fundraising target of £5,000 for his trek through the Andes.

To support him visit