Award-winning trainer, gym and group exercise instructor Leanne Sklavenitis helps hundreds of people on a global scale through her online wellness programs at She is now determined to help even more in a different way after her diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in September 2017.

With more than 32 years in the health and wellness industry, Leanne’s focus pivoted after her diagnosis. She now helps develop exercises for those living with MND, assists with metabolism research every three months and continues her online fitness business.

MND is the name of a group of diseases in which the neurones in the brain and spinal cord progressively die. These neurones control our capacity to talk, eat, swallow and breathe. Since diagnosis, Leanne lost the ability to walk unaided, move her hands and arms, and then the ability to speak clearly. She now uses eye gaze equipment for communication.

Leanne emphasises that incorporating a daily exercise routine will help sufferers feel better. “With my personal background of over thirty years in the fitness industry, exercise has remained really important to me. Some exercises can include using light resistance to maintain muscle, daily stretching and getting up to move (with help of course).”

Leanne says MND has not stopped her from enjoying her life. “I have always loved living life to the very fullest, however MND has fast-tracked this outlook! While at times I am frustrated about being unable to do the things I want to do, my family, friends and support team have become so very meaningful. It is all about treasuring the ordinary moments, phone calls, get-togethers and celebrating each other at every opportunity.”

National MND Awareness Week from May 2 to 9 aimed to highlight the importance of advocacy and promote research to find a cure. 

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