When Russell Skelton was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, the fighting spirit which had seen him survive cancer and a double heart bypass kicked in.
His body, however, quickly deteriorated. And his family were left devastated and forced to watch their loved one suffer - with no cure and no treatment currently available.
"It's just one of those diseases that's pretty gutting really," wife Noeleen Skelton says.
"There are not many things you think there isn't hope for. With cancer there can be a cure, with heart problems, there can be operations, but with MND, there is no hope.