Motor neurone disease puts life in perspective

Denise Donaldson. Picture: Neil Richardson
Denise Donaldson. Picture: Neil Richardson

You have heard it all before.

Life can change in an instant; you never know what is around the corner.

The day before their diagnosis, Neale Daniher, Graham Crooks, Kirk Dicker and 2000 other Australians probably had no idea how their world was about to change.

Motor neurone disease is a most cruel and heart-wrenching diagnosis. 

There is no cure, and for many people, little time left.

The stories of Daniher, Mr Crooks and Mr Dicker have been told in The Advocate and The Examiner.

In each, their story of determination and pride in battling this scourge is motivating.

Daniher – whose fight has brought AFL players and many in the community to tears –  oozes resilience.

In a relaxed interview at Hotel Grand Chancellor this week, Daniher assured everyone he was out to have fun.

Judging by the smile on his face as celebrities, locals, politicians and children slid, one-by-one into the icy water below – he did. 

Two of those children were Kobe Arrowsmith and Oscar.

They participated for their great uncle and pop, Mr Crooks.

He was diagnosed with MND in August of 2015.

Rather than just watching Mr Crooks’ body shut down – the boys created posters and got fundraising.

Their $4000 is vital.

It will help researchers find a cure.

Looking for a silver lining, the fight to fundraise and find treatment for the disease has demonstrated Launceston and Tasmania’s ability to come together for the good of its people.

About $100,000 was donated in last year’s Launceston Big Freeze, and this year’s event should be no different.

The total cost of MND in Australia is about $2.37 billion – equating to $1.1 million per person each year.

For every person diagnosed with MND it is estimated that a further 14 members of their family and their friends will live with its effect forever. 

How people diagnosed with motor neurone disease stay positive and continue to smile through life is a testament to their character.

But let’s keep fighting for a cure so no other character is put on trial.