Alun Armstrong spoke of “promising” progress in the fight against multiple sclerosis as he stars in a film raising funds to fight it.
The star of TV shows including Breeders and New Tricks is joining a host of celebrities and the MS Society as they try to find solutions to the condition.
Alun said: “You could say that I’ve been living with MS – because of my sister – for 40 odd years.
“Anybody who is connected with MS and knows someone with it knows what a really debilitating and horrible condition it can be, especially with so many young people struggling with it.
“Your immediate reaction is always ‘is there no medicine to stop this, is there no help that can be given?'”
He continued: “I had an uncle who had MS when I was very little and he died quite young. Seeing the impact was heartbreaking.
“I was so fearful that my sister would end up like my uncle, and I just kept hoping there would be some real scientific breakthroughs discovered so she didn’t end up like that.
“There didn’t seem to be anything for a really long time but even in the last few years things have been discovered that have really helped my sister – both directly with MS and with conditions related to it like migraines.
“She has been prescribed several new medicines over the last few years and I’d say she’s improved at least 50% because of these new discoveries.”
Alun, 74, hopes there will be an even bigger breakthrough soon for sufferers including his sister who is in her mid-Seventies, and added: “MS is very close to my heart and being in Team Stop MS means a lot to me.
“We’re at a juncture in the fight against MS where the future looks really promising. And from what the scientists tell us, we are on the verge of some really significant breakthroughs in finding treatments to Stop MS.”
In a bid to help stop multiple sclerosis (MS), Alun is starring alongside Game Of Thrones star Kit Harington, Rose Leslie and Andy Serkis in the MS Society’s new ‘Team Stop MS’ campaign film which launches today(WEDS).
It is the first time the married couple Kit and Rose have appeared on screen together since the end of the hit series of Game Of Thrones.
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But far from being star-struck, Alun admitted: “I hadn’t watched Game of Thrones before so I hadn’t seen Kit in it and wouldn’t really have recognised him, but of course I’d heard of him so when I heard we were doing a scene together that was quite intriguing! And he turned out to be a delightful young man.”
The Team Stop MS campaign video also features Lord Of The Rings star Andy Serkis, chef Ainsley Harriott, radio DJ Scott Mills and comedian Ivo Graham.
All of those involved have a “close personal connection” to MS, the charity said.
The video shows them all auditioning to become a fundraiser for the charity. At the end of the clip, a narrator said: “Join Team Stop MS. No audition needed.”
* You can find out more about the campaign visit www.mssociety.org.uk/team-stop-ms
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