Sunday Times columnist Gillian Bowditch has paid tribute to fellow writer for the paper Gordon Aikman who has died aged 31 from Motor Neurone Disease.
The former gymnast and Labour party staffer was diagnosed with the disease in 2014 and wrote a column for the paper chronicling his battle with the condition.
Bowditch wrote: “It was a privilege to write alongside him in the pages of The Sunday Times, but we all worried about the pressure a regular column might place on him, especially as he insisted on typing it himself as long as he was able. Gordon reassured us he looked forward to writing his monthly missives for this newspaper, perhaps almost as much as his readers looked forward to reading his laconic, elegant copy — some of which appears on these pages today.
“A natural communicator, even when writing about the most distressing aspects of his condition he stayed life-affirming. He wrote with his heart on his sleeve; we read him with our hearts in our mouths. He made the personal universal and we found shared truths in the most individual and extreme of circumstances. As his vocal muscles faced wasting away, his voice strengthened and its reach broadened.”
Aikman raised £500,000 to help fund research into Motor Neurone Disease via the gordonsfightback.com.