Mum who should have been dead 3 months ago has ‘learned a lot since diagnosis’

A young mum has spoken of life since being given nine months to live.

Jennifer Bell, 28, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease a year ago just a few months after the birth of her second child, Kacey.

Now the mum-of-two, from Milngavie, Scotland, has reflected on the 12 months since the devastating news, including her pride at seeing little Kacey turn one and her eldest – eight-year-old Georgia – dance in a competition.

She has urged others never to take life for granted and enjoy each day to the fullest, reports the Daily Record.

In a YouTube video uploaded for MND Scotland, she said: "When I was diagnosed, I was told I had nine months to live. That was almost 12 months ago and I’m still here.

"It was important to me to see my daughter’s first birthday, to see her walking and to see my other daughter's dance ecompeiton.

"So I would say, in general, it’s made me just not take life for granted and to enjoy every day. It has taught me that tomorrow is never guaranteed."

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Jennifer was in the final year of becoming a nurse at Glasgow Caledonian University and seven months pregnant when her symptoms started to show, but she put it down to the stress of being a pregnant mum, a full-time student and working night shifts.

But by the time she gave birth she sounded drunk.

Jennifer’s GP had told her the slurred speech was down to hormones following pregnancy and asked her to return in eight weeks.

After going back to her GP, she was given a referral for a neurology appointment which would take weeks so the family paid for a private MRI scan at Ross Hall Hospital in Glasgow.

Heartbroken Jennifer was told on March 26 at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary that she had MND and was given nine months to live.

Her diagnosis is not genetic and medics said it was simply down to “bad luck”.

Refusing to let her diagnosis control her life, Jennifer graduated from Caledonian University with a BSc in learning disability nursing in October 2019 and set about making a her bucket list.

But now she will have to set about making a new one, having ticked off all her dreams, including getting married, swimming with dolphins and seeing her dad's house in Crete.

She added: "At 28 I thought I had my whole life ahead of me. You don’t know when your life is going to end.

"When I was told I had nine months I did my bucket list and I’ve now ticked off everything, so I need to make a new one!"

As well as ticking off her bucket list, Jennifer has raised £15k for MND charity in a bid to find a cure for the terminal illness.

In her emotional YouTube message which she put together for MND Scoland's Cornflower Ball held at the Hilton hotel in Glasgow on March 6, Jennifer urged attendees to dig deep while thanking them for their support.

The clip includes a montage of a beaming Jennifer and Georgia together in New York alongside a picture holding Kacey at her first birthday party.

In the video she says: "Everyone with MND has to keep fighting, keep positive, keep raising awareness and keep on fundraising.

"Thank you to everyone for being here, for your support and please dig deep and spend as much money as you can so we can find a cure."

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