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Sarah Ezekiel has her portrait chosen for painters' exhibition

Painter Aldo Balding's portrait of Sarah Ezekiel has been selected to be part of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters' exhibition at the Mall Galleries next month.

Ms Ezekiel suffers from Motor Neurone Disease, which gradually attacks the cells that control voluntary muscle activity, including speaking, walking, breathing, swallowing and general movement of the body. She is an active campaigner to raise awareness of the condition. An advert about her, made by the MND Association, was deemed too shocking to be screened in UK cinemas.

Ms Ezekiel, who lives in Hendon, hopes the painting will further highlight the plight of MND sufferers."I'm really pleased with the painting," she tells People, "It's an honest portrayal and shows how MND has affected me." Proceeds from the picture's sale will go to MND charities.

The artist, Aldo Balding, said that meeting Ms Ezekiel was an emotional experience. "I was struck by her courage and fortitude. She has overcome insurmountable obstacles. She makes jokes, she is funny. If she is dealing with that, how can one complain about insignificant issues?

"The finished portrait shows, I hope, an amazing woman dealing with a debilitating illness. I have used metaphor in the locked door. The composition is slightly uncomfortable , with the head dominating the far left of the picture, so as to accentuate the feeling of being hemmed in. I hope it can make some people think, even if just for a minute."

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