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Health & Fitness Young mum with MND makes heartbreaking decision to say goodbye to kids and moves into hospice for 'final chapter'

07:33  21 may  2020
07:33  21 may  2020 Source:   msn.com

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a little girl posing for a photo: Jennifer with her two young daughters © Jennifer Bell/Daily Record Jennifer with her two young daughters

A young mum who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease after giving birth has said goodbye to her children and moved into a hospice for her ‘final chapter’.

Jennifer bell, 29, was given just months to live after she was diagnosed last year.

The single mum of two girls, Georgia, aged 9, and one-year-old Kacey, vowed to fight the disease from the beginning.

She defied medics by celebrating numerous milestones, including graduating from University, seeing her baby’s first birthday, bringing in Christmas and more recently having a party for Georgia’s ninth birthday.

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a little girl posing for a picture: Jen with her two daughters, Georgia, 9 and baby Kacey © Jennifer Bell/Daily Record Jen with her two daughters, Georgia, 9 and baby Kacey

Jennifer has now made the difficult decision to move into the Marie Curie Hospice in Glasgow to begin what she describes as her final chapter.

The nursing graduate said her heart had been shattered leaving her two girls but she wanted to protect them so they would remember mum and not motor neurone disease.

She told the Daily Record: “Life for me is quality over quantity now.

“I’ve organised everything - memory boxes, wedding presents, 18th and 21st birthday presents, gifts for my first grandchildren and even sorted my funeral arrangements to protect my family.

“I want to keep them away from as much heartache as possible.”

a little girl standing in a room: Jen recently celebrated her daughter's 9th birthday © Jennifer Bell/Daily Record Jen recently celebrated her daughter's 9th birthday

In an open letter to her supporters she wrote: “After a long 24 months of fighting MND I have today began my final chapter in Marie Curie.

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“I don’t really have the words apart from I am broken leaving my little girls and family.

“Thank you to everyone who has been there for me. Thank you to my amazing friends who have consistently been there for me. Thank you to everyone whose reached out to me, whose raised money for my daughters, and thank you to everyone who has helped, donated and raised awareness for motor neurone disease.

“I said from the very beginning I’ll decide when I’ve had enough, not MND. I am so tired. Tired of fighting, I’ve done my best and gave my all. But it’s time to protect my girls and they deserve to remember mum not mnd.

“Thank you to everyone I’ve met throughout my journey, to the people who stood by me through everything not just this disease but everything in my personal life and for everyone who never doubted me. The kindness and love my family, me and my girls have been shown, shows that there is still good in this world.

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“My families' and friends hearts are breaking, mine is shattered leaving behind my two little girls, but I know what I’ve left behind for them will show how much I loved them and they’ll carry that in their hearts forever.

a little girl smiling at the camera: Jennifer with daughter Kacey © Jennifer Bell/Daily Record Jennifer with daughter Kacey

“MND is the cruelest disease and everyone has an acceptance of what quality of life is for them. Mine has been taken from me.

“I don’t know where I am going but I know there will be people waiting for me.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at all scared because I’m human and at 29 it is scary.

“I said from the day I was diagnosed I’ll know when I’m ready and that time has come. Me and my girls have made more memories in a year than some will make in a life time. For that I am blessed.

“Motor neurone disease is so underfunded and if I could ask anyone to pick a charity to give people diagnosed a chance, at least a glimmer of hope, then please donate to MND Scotland.

“Say a wee prayer for my girls, my dad, mum, and the rest of my family and friends and send them the strength to get through this.

“I’m not doing goodbyes. I’ll see you in a while.”

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The brave mum from Milngavie, near Glasgow, refused to let her diagnosis control her life and has ticked off dreams from her bucket list.

a large brown teddy bear sitting on top of a pile of stuffed animals: Teddy bears for her girls © Jennifer Bell/Daily Record Teddy bears for her girls

But her symptoms have left her unable to speak, swallow water or eat food without choking.

Earlier this month she candidly revealed that tube feeding is now keeping her alive.

And with the coronavirus pandemic forcing her into lockdown, she admitted to feeling exhausted.

She continued: “I miss being able to phone my friends and have a conversation, I can’t put my hair in a bobble.

“My wee gran had been over, she’s 89, she said to me ‘I don’t know that language is but I can’t understand it’.”

a woman standing in front of a blue wall: Jennifer Bell proudly graduates from Glasgow Caledonian University © UGC Jennifer Bell proudly graduates from Glasgow Caledonian University

Despite battling everyday, Jennifer has encouraged people not to waste their time worrying about their looks or their weight and just ‘do what makes you happy’.

After her diagnosis, she was determined to spread awareness and raised £27,577 for charity MND Scotland.

She was also the face of the MND Scotland Cornflower ball which raised more than £92,000.

Hundreds of thousands of people across the world have reached out to Jennifer and her family after they were touched by her story.

a close up of text on a whiteboard: Beautiful drawings Jen has left for her kids © Jennifer Bell/Daily Record Beautiful drawings Jen has left for her kids

Bridal store owner Laura Boland, who met Jennifer when she got married, created a fundraiser to raise cash her two children.

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In less than 24 hours, almost £50,000 has been raised.

Laura, who runs Bijoux Bridal in Hamilton has also promised Jennifer that when her daughters get married, the shop will gift them dresses so they can share that connection with their mum.

Laura said: “She’s such a brave, inspiring woman and mother, and I just wanted to do anything I could to help give her comfort knowing that there was a little extra to go to a nest egg for the girls.

“We were privileged to be a part of Jen and her beautiful daughter Georgia’s experience and it was an honour to have Jen as a Bijoux Bride. She has been an inspiration and has shown strength beyond anything that I could imagine.

“I have followed her brave journey ever since.”

a woman sitting at a table with a birthday cake: Jennifer Bell says she wishes she could see her kids grow up © UGC MSN Jennifer Bell says she wishes she could see her kids grow up

Her shop will continue to donate all appointment charges when it re-opens until the end of the year to the fundraiser.

Jennifer was seven months pregnant with little Kacey when a relative noticed that her speech sounded like she was wearing braces.

The student nurse put her symptoms down to the stress of being a pregnant mum, a full-time student and working nightshifts 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.

She was told on March 26, 2019, that she had MND and was given nine months to live.

She said: “I’m trying to spread awareness about my story so that other children won’t be left without a mum because of this horrible disease.

“There needs to be more education on MND.

“I hope there will be more time and money put into research so we can move forward to one day find a cure.

“There is so much information about cancer yet people don’t know much about MND or that there is no cure. Being diagnosed teaches you to be strong and cherish every day with the people who truly love you.

“If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t waste a minute. Nobody knows what’s around the corner.

To donate to Jennifer’s fundraiser visit here.

To donate to MND Scotland visit www.mndscotland.org/imagine

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