A Peebles woman with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) says lockdown has stolen opportunities to “make memories”.

Jo Knowlton, who now lives in Dundee, was diagnosed with the life-limiting condition as a 29-year-old last year.

The police forensics worker said: “I’ve gone from lifting 10kg dumbbells to finding a glass of water heavy.”

Jo has found coronavirus-related restrictions particularly frustrating, because she has been trying to live life to the fullest.

“I’ve tried to stay positive and take opportunities to make memories with my family and friends, but that’s all had to stop since COVID-19,” said the 30-year-old.

“I’m stuck indoors and I can’t get this time back.”

Jo was diagnosed with MND last year after being admitted to hospital in August for difficulties using her hands.

“I was devastated,” she recalled. “I felt fine and I didn’t understand how this could be the conclusion.

“I thought I had my whole life ahead of me but now I was faced with being told I had a terminal illness aged 29.”

The news was also a blow to her mother, who has worked as a carer for 30 years – including caring for patients living with MND.

But Jo is determined to stay positive, and has been enjoying ticking off items on her bucket list.

Last December, she was able to travel to Iceland, with the support of MND Scotland, and has her sights set on a Mediterranean or Caribbean cruise once lockdown restrictions allow for travel again.

“I’ve always lived within my means and I’ve never gone on holidays if I couldn’t afford it, so I hadn’t been abroad in about five years,” she said.

“Right now I just want to get on with life, stay as independent as I can, make memories and live well.

“I’m trying to find a bungalow which will be more suitable for my needs, because at the moment I can’t leave my flat without assistance because of the steps.

“I can’t wait to just iron out as many of the challenges I’m presented with as possible and just try and enjoy life.”

Jo was due to start the MND-SMART drugs trial in April, but the virus put plans on hold.

“I hope the trials will be up and running again soon so that I can be a part of the ground-breaking trial,” said Jo. You can follow Jo’s story here.