Personal Stories: Sponsored silence will show effects of voice loss
Alana Hughes on why she raises awareness of motor neurone disease
Alana Hughes from Belfast is a campaign volunteer for the Northern Ireland branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association which supports the 120 people living with the terminal condition here.
The 22-year-old classroom assistant from Finaghy said: "I keep up to date with the current campaigns the association has in place, relay them back to the branch and encourage other people to get involved and participate.
"I got involved because my stepdad Gerard has motor neurone disease and I wanted to do all I could to help.
"It changes everything. We have been lucky that it is a slow progression so we have had time to adapt to each change as the illness progresses.
"For others it is like a whirlwind.
"June is MND awareness month and the association is encouraging people to take part Silence Speaks, sponsored silences to highlight the communication difficulties people with MND have.
"We have just completed the last campaign, the MND charter, which was a statement of care, support and respect for people with MND and their carers.
"The signatures are being presented to Downing Street to highlight how many people in the UK care for people with MND and that the Governments needs to do more for people. That will happen on June 16 and I will be at a parliamentary reception - we're trying to encourage all the newly elected MPs to attend."
Visit www.mndassociation.org or @MNDA_NI