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Meet The Team: Scotland - UK

Gordon D McHendry: Founder & Campaign Coordinator

Gordon D McHendry, MCS International Founder and Campaign Coordinator, late Octobetr 2009. The Chemical Connection:  Getting a big mouthful of mercury amalgam fillings within a very short period of time; living in a croft cottage that became completely surrounded by fields of oil-seed rape crops - possibly early GMO trial fields - that were regularly sprayed right up to mere yards from my house (one field of which contained the two private wells that provided the croft with its only sources of tap water); the unwise use of an ancient electrical fire extinguisher to fight an outbuilding electrical fire that threatened to burn the house down; these are just some of my top suspects for kick starting over two hard decades of increasingly severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

After becoming so "mysteriously ill" that I was forced to give up the croft and move my family back into civilisation I then became a six foot tall bedbound skeleton weighing in at only 110 pounds. I looked just like a refugee from a concentration camp. Largely trapped in an upstairs bedroom to weak to manage the stairs my undiagnosed MCS was then made many orders of magnitude worse by ignorantaly moving into a newly built bungalow customised for disabled use. The severity of my MCS then skyrocketed into the realms of the lethal and, simply to survive, I was then forced to spend the next five and a half years sleeping in my garden shed - every single night - all the year round - and in ALL weathers.  It is something of a minor miracle that I am still here to tell the tale. See 2 short videos (2003) on that shed night-life here: Wooden Pillow  and Toxic Bedding.  The bottom line is this:  I know about Multiple Chemical Sensitivity - mild to severe - from long and very hard won experience.

Background Information:  I grew up on the working class streets of Glasgow. My parents moved around a lot. Aged 15 I left the same Glasgow High School as Billy Connelly the clear top of my class the last 2 years running, gaining town hall gift presentations on each occasion for general academic excellence, but with no formal academic qualifications whatsoever. Aged 17  I became a factory shop-steward (USDAW) and successfully completed UK Pre-Paratrooper Selection Training with Glasgow's 15th Para in West Germany when I was 20-21; excelling in field craft. Past employment was mostly in sales in one form or another and, later, in computers as both an operator and a programmer. I did over 4 years of increasing voluntary work with Citizens Advice Bureau as a client advisor, welfare benefits appeal tribunal representative, CAB staff tutor, and finally as a deputy manager. A year's freelance computer programming work produced the critically well received "Basic Note Tutor" for the early and ground-breaking "Amiga" range of home computers; still available from my "Archive Menu" above, and the online resource Aminet Archive.

Before a worsening of the MCS (and my ever dwindling cognitive abilities) forced me to give it all up, I was a keen PC computer system builder. During that time I built over 2 dozen complete PC systems (and a handful of partial builds) based around both Athlon and Intel CPU's, and had repaired perhaps as many again, before I finally had to give it up (except for keeping my own kit going).  I really miss that hobby.  It was self-financing and was also excellent as a "keep-you-sane" therapy against the life-stealing isolation imposed on you by the very disabling MCS and ME/CFS illnesses. These days that job is done by MCS International.  I have a 28 year old son, am happily divorced, and presently live alone.

The Wider Context:  While not religious in the conventional sense I never-the-less consider myself to be a deeply spiritual person; a student of the perennial philosophy if you like. For me the very fabric of reality itself is spiritual; all ultimately inexplicable energy, or God-stuff. When not simply struggling to survive the medical and social wilderness of life with severe forms of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E./CFS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), I like to hang out at the Integral Naked website and learn all I can about an "Integral Approach" to life, the universe and everything. I am a member of an excellent Scottish charity called The 25% M.E. Group for severe ME/CFS sufferers, write a regular page called MCS Matters for their news-letter "The Quarterly", and man their MCS Telephone Help-line for a few hours 2 days a week when able. To date (Feb' 2008), despite no end of effort, I remain trapped in a toxic bungalow that is systematically destroying what little is left of my health.

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