FORMER semi-professional footballer Scott Bell is hoping to take part in two medical trials which could help in his battle against motor neurone disease (MND).
But the 33-year-old needs to raise the necessary funding to undergo the trials which could transform his life.
The former Blyth Spartans and Bedlington Terriers striker was diagnosed with the muscle wasting condition in 2011 after first suffering from symptoms two years earlier while playing for the Terriers.
Despite his condition slowly getting worse, Scott has not given up hope of finding a way to beat the disease, or at least let him control it so he can spend more time with his family and new-born son.
Discussions with his doctors has led him to a medical trial in the United States – where he would be the first person to undergo the treatment – but he needs to raise £1,000 a month to cover the costs.
The treatment – an infra-red helmet – is in the early stages of being used in the battle against dementia as it helps create new cells in the brain through infra-red light as the sufferer wears the helmet for ten minutes a day.
But Scott’s American doctor believes it can also be used in the battle against MND.
Speaking to the News Post Leader, Scott – who set up the Scott Bell Fund to raise awareness of MND – said: “It’s an exploratory trial and I will be doing it if I can get the money.
“We don’t know if it would work or not, I’d be the only person in the world doing it and it’s very much an unknown as to whether it would work or not.
“I’m willing to do it, I’m just waiting on the time scale as the doctor has to get the equipment made.
“Normally you’d have to pay upfront for this, but I’ve managed to turn it into monthly payments of £1,000.”
Scott, who has moved into a bungalow in Cramlington as he is now struggling to walk, also said he was having difficulty breathing at times.
As a result, he is now hoping to get on a trial in Newcastle for an operation on his diaphragm to aid his breathing.
But if he misses out, he will need to raise £20,000 to have the operation in America or Europe.
“I know this operation works,” he said. “So if I miss out on the trial, I’ll have to pay to get it done in America or Europe as it’s not available in the UK.
“I’ve just got to wait a couple of months to find out if I’ve got on the trial.”
But one person keeping Scott pre-occupied at the minute is his six-week-old son Elliot.
“It’s an amazing feeling being a dad,” he said. “But it’s also tiring.
“Because I can’t walk, I’ve got to get people to hand him to me, but it’s just amazing sitting there holding him and looking at him, although I did only get one hour sleep in the first week with him.”
His family and friends have already started fundraising initiatives to raise the necessary money but anyone who wants to help can do so via his fund’s website www.scottbellfund.com