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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 September 2006, 23:07 GMT 00:07 UK
'I would give my eggs to science'
Image of Liz Shipley
Liz would like to aid MND research
A fertility watchdog is seeking public opinion on women donating their eggs for research.

Liz Shipley, 44 and from Newcastle, is one woman who desperately hopes that she will be able to give her eggs to scientists hunting for disease cures.

Ms Shipley has Motor Neurone Disease - a progressive disease that attacks the nerves supplying the muscles, leading to weakness and loss of mobility.

If my eggs are carrying that faulty gene then hopefully they can take my eggs and find a cure for the disease
Liz Shipley

Although a cure for her condition is unlikely to be available in her lifetime, she hopes that by donating her eggs to science she will help others at risk of MND.

She explained: "My form of MND is inherited. If my eggs are carrying that faulty gene then hopefully they can take my eggs and find a cure for the disease.

"I know it is not going to help me, but it will help other people. If we have got a world without MND then what more could I ask for?"

She said she appreciates that donating eggs is a complicated and potentially risky procedure.

But she said: "Any risks are far outweighed by the positives. And what have I got to lose? I have terminal MND."

Critics have questioned whether women might be coerced into donating.

But Ms Shipley thought this was unlikely. "It is personal choice. I do not think it is something that a woman could be persuaded to do. It is a major decision. It's an invasive procedure."

Until three years ago, Ms Shipley was relatively mobile and led a fairly independent life, working as a primary school teacher for children with special needs.

Her MND has progressed and she now relies on carers to help her get dressed and wash her hair. She uses a wheelchair or crutches to get around.

Ms Shipley already has children and hopes that they will not have MND. She said they could opt to have a genetic test when they are 18, but that will be their decision to make.

"They are very aware of it, but have a very positive attitude and get on with life.

"My philosophy is that I'm living with it and not dying from it."

At 44, Ms Shipley worries that time is running out for her to donate. She said she is considering having her eggs frozen.


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