When the BBC's Brian Taylor announced to the room that I had won the Judges Award at The Herald Politician of the Year Awards, I knew it was crucial I got on stage.

It took what felt like an age to struggle up five steps but I was determined to make a speech.

People remained on their feet, applauding, as I dragged my slow and increasingly disabled body to the lectern. And as I stood clutching it for support, looking out on a sea of politicians and journalists, no one sat down. In the front row was Nicola Sturgeon. It was her first day in office as First Minister.

I had won. It was a surreal, bittersweet evening. But it was also an opportunity, one I had to grab. I had a captive audience.

"The nurses who visit me in my home are not paid for by our NHS, but out of charitable donations," I said. "People need to run marathons and hold bake sales so I can die with dignity." I then turned to look directly at Ms Sturgeon and asked for her help.

The next morning an email arrived from one of her officials, and within a week we had a meeting. I did not realise it at the time, but that award, in recognition of my campaign GordonsFightback.com, was a turning point.

I was diagnosed in June last year with Motor Neurone Disease, which affects more than 400 people in Scotland. It attacks the brain and spinal cord. It is terminal. Half of the people with MND die within 14 months of diagnosis.

My campaign has been my purpose, my way of coping. It has been about turning a negative into a positive; doing what I can to improve things for future generations of people who get this awful condition.

On Tuesday evening at 9.15pm I had an unexpected phone call from Ms Sturgeon. She told me that the next morning she would announce plans to double the number of MND nurses in Scotland. I was delighted.

This will transform the lives of Scottish MND patients, including me. It is a victory for the thousands of supporters who demanded action through my website, for MSPs from across the political spectrum and for the First Minister who answered the call for change.

From April, the cash kicks in and the current nurses' vast caseloads will be cut in half. They will spend far less time stuck behind the wheel driving from patient to patient. Now they will finally be able to provide quality, one-on-one care to dying Scots.

Doubling the number of nurses also frees up MND Scotland, the charity that has worked tirelessly to pay for them. Instead of propping up the NHS, fundraising will now go towards support and information for patients and their families as well as investing in much needed research.

Scotland is leading the way with Motor Neurone Disease care. It is a great achievement, but much more remains to be done.

Yesterday's announcement will improve the lives of people with MND. We now need to stop people getting the disease in the first place. That requires serious investment in research. That is why, in the run-up to the General Election, I will be pressing the UK parties to commit to double MND research funding so we can find a cure to this horrific disease.

This afternoon I will be at Edinburgh's Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic to give researchers a chunk of my skin. It will allow them to explore what causes the disease as well test potential treatments.

The missing ingredient is money. It is time to invest in MND research as never before. As politicians gear up for the May 7 poll by kicking lumps out of each other, they should also consider something we can all get behind: a world free from MND.