Chill with a cause: ice challenge brings fresh hope

Kate and Guy Barnett share the chill of the ice bucket challenge with Albert van Zetten at Launceston's regional tennis centre yesterday. Photo: Neil Richardson

Kate and Guy Barnett share the chill of the ice bucket challenge with Albert van Zetten at Launceston's regional tennis centre yesterday. Photo: Neil Richardson

AUSTRALIAN motor neurone disease ambassador Guy Barnett was covered with icy water and tennis balls yesterday, as he took the ice bucket challenge at the regional tennis centre in Launceston.

Mr Barnett took the challenge alongside wife Kate, Launceston mayor Albert van Zetten, Health Minister Michael Ferguson and 17-year-old Taylor Warde, whose father was diagnosed with the disease almost three years ago.

Mr Barnett watched his father struggle with the disease for three years before he died in 1985.

About 1900 Australians suffer from MND. Thirty of those sufferers are from Tasmania, and between 700 and 800 of them die each year.

Mr Barnett said the challenge was about raising money and awareness of the disease. In Australia over just 13 days, the challenge has raised more than $250,000 for Motor Neurone Disease Australia. The annual target is $1 million.

Mr Barnett said $160,000 of the money raised this year would go towards research, with $90,000 earmarked for support.

"This challenge has made a massive difference to our fund-raising efforts," Mr Barnett said.

"There's no known cause, and there's no known cure."

Mr Barnett nominated his daughter Nina, Lyons Liberal MHR Eric Hutchinson and state Treasurer Peter Gutwein.

Launceston mayor Albert van Zetten nominated Launceston deputy mayor Jeremy Ball, Meander Valley mayor Craig Perkins, and editor of The Examiner Martin Gilmour.

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