THE FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon will be among those paying tribute at a memorial service for motor neurone disease patient and campaigner, Gordon Aikman today (Saturday).

The former policy boss at the Better Together campaign, who was diagnosed with the disease two years ago at the age of 29, will be laid to rest at a funeral held at Warriston Crematorium, Edinburgh before the service at The Hub.

HeraldScotland: MND campaigner Gordon Aikman

The Edinburgh-based campaigner formed the Gordon’s Fightback campaign following his diagnosis, and successfully lobbied the First Minister to double the number of MND nurses and fund them through the NHS, as well as raising more than £500,000 for research.

His husband Joe Pike will be joined by Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale and former Chancellor Alistair Darling in paying tributes to Aikman at a memorial held at The Hub in the capital.

Instead of flowers, his family has asked that donations be made to to help support Gordon’s efforts to fund a cure for Motor Neurone Disease

HeraldScotland: .

Speaking ahead of the day, Gordon’s husband Joe Pike said: “Saying goodbye to Gordon is so painful. But today is also about saying thank you: celebrating everything he achieved. And remembering his energy and passion, but also his kindness, generosity, and Gordon's love of life.

"Even when he was dying, Gordon taught me and so many others how to live, to be true to ourselves, and to fight to make things that little bit better for those who follow.”

Aikman, a former Scottish Labour party staffer, received a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s birthday honours in 2015 and an honorary doctorate from th e University of Edinburgh in the same year for his work to transform care for people with MND and his efforts to find a cure.