Incurable Optimist

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is an incurable disease that leaves people unable to do everyday things that the rest of us take for granted. It is a progressive neurological condition affecting the central nervous system, leading to weakness and wasting of muscles, causing increasing loss of mobility in the limbs and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing. The cause of MND is not known and there is no cure but treatments can help to ease symptoms and disability. Life expectancy is variable, from 3 to 5 years (or occasionally longer) after onset, depending on the activity of the disease and the particular muscle groups affected.

Artist and father of three, Patrick Joyce is an incurable optimist. Patrick has MND. He also has an infectious laugh, contagious enthusiasm and a wicked sense of humour. He has set himself a challenge to paint the portraits of 100 incurable optimists before he loses the ability to paint forever. Patrick hopes that through this people will be inspired to do something optimistic to help beat MND. He wants to raise awareness of MND and funds for research. MND is incurable, so is Patrick’s optimism…

You can read Patrick’s blog here.

Information Source:  The Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association (IMNDA) and The Motor Neurone Disease Association (UK).

8 Responses to Incurable Optimist

  1. Lily says:

    Delighted you posted that, thanks. Patrick is inspirational

    • Steph says:


      Delighted you found it. I see you’re busy rummaging around the blog world while we’re all busy snoring! 😀

      Hope all going well for you in Minneapolis. While I know there’s still a long road ahead in terms of rehabilitation, Tommy sounds in great spirits. I keep an eye on the Twitter link on his blog, to find out what he’s up to 😉

  2. BendyGirl says:

    What an incredible man! Thanks for telling us all about this Steph. BG Xx

    • Steph says:


      Glad you enjoyed it.

      I found the video yesterday hiding as a draft post on my blog and do you know, I haven’t clue where it came from/where I found it! 🙄

      If someone reading this, sent me this video, belated thanks!

  3. Annb says:

    Incredibly moving – quite lost for words. x

    • Steph says:


      Patrick is indeed inspirational and while his future is bleak, it’s his wife that really tugged at my heartstrings. It must be so horrendous watching someone you love, going steadily downhill with an incurable condition.

      And of course the irony is that Patrick is fighting back by promoting himself as an incurable optimist.

  4. Achelois says:

    Ian Dury oh yes such an apt choice. A moving and inspirational video. I crumbled I must admit when his son said ‘my dad is an incurable optimist’. Brought swiftly baack to my senses though with the message that optimism does make a difference. Inspirational. Thank you for posting this.

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