Ex-Wales star Jason Bowen told kids ‘dad is not dying today’ after MND diagnosis

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    Welsh football legend Jason Bowen has opened up about the “heartbreaking” moment he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

    Bowen played for Wales on two occasions, but is better known for his time with Cardiff City, Swansea City, and Newport County. The news of his condition was revealed on a GoFundMe page his family made to help cover the costs of his treatment.

    MND is an illness which attacks the body’s nervous system, interrupting messages between the brain and the body’s muscles, subsequently shortening people’s lives. And a matter of days after the horrific news was told to him, Bowen opened up and described the impact it has had on him and his family.

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    “The doctor just came out and gave it to me straight. He said, ‘look you’ve got Motor Neurone Disease’,” Bowen said to the Cardiffian. “I asked what the timescale was and he said ‘Three to five years’.

    “It was terrible coming home and telling Hayley and the boys what’s happening. But I’m still here I’m still fighting as much as I possibly can and I’ll take it on for as long as I possibly can.” One of the hardest moments for Bowen was telling his youngest son Theo, 12, the awful news. "“Theo was pretty heartbroken, but we only told Theo what he needed to know. Like today we said, ‘Dad is fine he is doing really well, and he is still taking you to football.’

    “I had to explain to him ‘Everybody dies at some point, but Dad is not dying today’ and that is all I could really focus on. Today. That day." As he said firmly, Bowen will be doing everything he can to battle the condition. “At first it was just awful, heart-breaking, and really hard to understand,” his wife Hayley also said, when asked about the moment she was told the news no wife wants to hear.

    If you would like to donate to the page, please visit the GoFundMe page here.

    “To be told that you will lose use of your limbs, your ability to move and eat your own food, it is just horrendous. But whenever he needs help, I am by his side.”

    As terrible as the news was, Bowen is refusing to give in and is determined to find as many positives as he can. “I’m just trying to stay as positive as I can,” he added. “I’m taking care of my health and doing what I can. In physio they say, ‘Use it until you lose it’ so that’s what I’m trying to do.”

    More than £13,000 has been donated to his GoFundMe page ever since it was made by his family. Hayley said the total cost of the physio, hydrotherapy, and supplements is approximately £1200 per month. “It really has blown me away and I just want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart,” he said.

    “It means so much to me and my family so we can keep doing these things to keep me fit and here as long as we can.”

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