AN inspirational fundraiser and campaigner has been named the 56th Evening Times Scotswoman of the Year.
Lucy Lintott, 24, from Garmouth in Moray, is the youngest person in Scotland with Motor Neurone Disease, an incurable condition which usually affects people over 40.
MND gradually makes gripping, walking, talking and swallowing extremely difficult and eventually impossible.
Since the devastating diagnosis five years ago, Lucy has opened up her life to help other sufferers, and has raised £183,000 to help find a cure.
An audience of 200 women, including celebrities, politicians, business leaders and activists, cheered as Lucy accepted the trophy and delivered a hilarious and moving acceptance speech.
“My mum asked me on the way down to Glasgow if I’d written a speech,” she said. “I told her – I can talk for Britain, I don’t need no speech.”
She added: “This is an amazing honour. This award is for everyone who follows Lucy’s Fight on Facebook, on instagram – it’s for the people at MND Scotland.
“Having MND – it sucks. I always liked a challenge, and it seems I got the hardest one of all. But I’m more stubborn than it. Five years on, I’m here.”
Lucy was all set to study business in Glasgow when she returned from a gap year in America.
“I came back so ready and excited for my future and life,” she explains. “I had noticed that my left hand had become weaker than my right and I started falling over and walking into things more than normal, but I hadn’t thought much about it.
“When I came back, my family, who hadn’t seen me for three months, picked up on everything that had changed physically. I came back with a limp, shaky muscles and slurred speech.”
Lucy was referred to a neurologist and after many tests, she was told she had MND.
“I kept eye contact with him until he told me it was incurable,” she recalls.
“When my eyes filled with water, the rest of the conversation was a
After searching the internet for answers, Lucy realised that information with young people with MND was thin on the ground.
“I soon realised that no one of my age had shared their stories,” she says.
“So I started writing,
I soon realised that it was helping me deal with
all my thoughts and feelings.”
Lucy’s blog, (which can be found at lucysfight.com) has now inspired people all over the world. She wrote a bucket list of things she wanted to do, including many helping other people going through difficult times, and began raising money to help the search for a cure.
With the help of her mum and dad, Lydia and Robert, and brother and sister Ross and Laura, Lucy made a documentary for the BBC, called MND and 22-year-old Me, which was viewed by more than half a million people.
Evening Times Editor Donald Martin said: “It takes a lot of courage to stand up for a cause you believe in. Lucy Lintott faced the worst of news with the best of attitudes.
“Her dedication to raise funds to find a cure for Motor Neurone Disease and to challenge misconceptions about the condition, is outstanding.”
Anne Ledgerwood, General Manager of event partner St. Enoch Centre said: “Lucy has shown unbelievable courage, strength and determination in her fight against MND and in doing so has achieved some remarkable goals and experiences in her life, all while raising awareness and educating people on the challenges the condition presents.”
Around 250 women attended last night’s event in the spectacular surroundings of Glasgow’s Principal Grand Central Hotel, including singers Michelle McManus and Horse; MSP Annie Wells, actors Libby McArthur and Joyce Falconer; many former SWOTYs and their representatives, and Lucy’s fellow finalists Gillian Taylor, Monica Allan and Alice Thompson.
The fifth woman on the shortlist, round-the-world cycle recordbreaker Jenny Graham was unfortunately unable to attend.
Radio and TV presenter Cathy Macdonald hosted the event and the guest speaker was actor Gayle Telfer Stevens, who gave a funny speech about what it means to be a woman.
The evening began with entertainment by the Theatre School of Scotland and ended with a fantastic performance from Edinburgh duo The Eves.
But it was Lucy Lintott’s words which brought the room to its feet.
“I’d say to all of you – you are enough,” she said. “If you feel down, or broken, if you think you can’t achieve something – you are enough. Everyone has strength in them somewhere.”