A son is paying tribute to his mother who died after noticing she had a “stiff ankle”.

Allyson was 60-years-old when she passed away from motor neuron disease (MND) leaving her family devastated.

MND is a rapidly progressing terminal illness, which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles.

This can cause someone to lose the ability to walk, talk, swallow, or breathe unaided.

Alarm bells first rang for Allyson when she noticed her speech started to slur and had discomfort in her ankle in 2020.

She was referred to a specialist but sadly died from the condition two years later.

Her son Michael Risi, 26, is now remembering his mum for having “immense resilience and courage” as she battled the condition.

Glasgow Times: Michael will take on the 26.2 mile challenge with his friends in memory of his mumMichael will take on the 26.2 mile challenge with his friends in memory of his mum (Image: Sourced)

Michael, from Newton Mearns in East Renfrewshire, said: “Mum’s first noticeable symptoms were stiffening of the ankle and slurred speech.

“After being referred to a specialist, the process of elimination began.

“It was a true testament to her character how she dealt with this illness.

“Every step of the way, Mum showed immense resilience and courage, all done with a smile on her face.

“As the disease worsened, so did her mobility, which ultimately left her being unable to control any of the muscles in her body and unable to talk and eat for the last year or so of her life.”

Michael is now taking part in the Edinburgh Marathon to raise money for MND Scotland in memory of his mum.

On Sunday, May 28, Michael will take on the 26.2 mile challenge with his friends Chris, James, Gary, Ian and Rebecca.

Despite the mammoth challenge ahead, Michael admits to having never been a keen runner and only started training with the goal of completing the Edinburgh Marathon.

Speaking on training for the marathon, he said: “We are all quite active but none of us have really done any competitive or long-distance running.

“I can only really speak for myself, but I’d say it’s going well. There are peaks and troughs, but we started with 5km runs and slowly increased the distance over time, running in the region of 25 km now."

The group of friends have found extra motivation through their fundraising success, surpassing their initial £3000 goal in just 24 hours and are now on the way to raising over £7500.



He said: “We all feel grateful for every donation. It’s been humbling, to be honest.

“My mum would be immensely proud of our effort and determination to help a great cause and I know she will be with us every step of the way!"

Thanking Michael for his support, Head of Fundraising, Julie Macdonald said: “It’s incredible to hear how Michael and his friends have pushed themselves to take on the Edinburgh Marathon and we cannot thank them enough for challenging themselves to support people affected by MND."

You can support Michael’s amazing effort by donating here.