The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been doing the rounds to raise awareness of ALS, or Motor Neurone Disease (MND) as it is known in Australia.
I am fully aware that there are many organisations in Australia and overseas who need funds to support their staff and programs and enhance research, I donate to many of them each year. I am also aware that you don’t need to pour a bucket of iced water over your head in order to make a donation – but we do love a challenge and if it raises awareness for any terminal disease – then I say “why not?”
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge strikes a chord with me as MND is a cause extremely close to my heart…my Dad was diagnosed with MND in early 1984.
It started with some weakness in his hands as he tinkered away in his workshop, very rapidly we saw a fit and energetic 33 year old deteriorate to having to use a walking cane, a motorised wheelchair (while he could still use the controls) and ultimately saw him confined to a wheelchair and totally reliant on others for his daily care.
Some of my more vivid memories from that time include moving into a house with ramps and wide door ways to accommodate the wheelchair, purchasing a water bed (since it made rolling Dad in the middle of the night a little easier on my Mum and the nursing staff who stayed at our house on many nights), and turning the pages of the newspaper and helping to feed my Dad – since that is pretty much all I could do at ten years of age.
My Dad passed away on 21st November, 1985 just 11 days before my 11th birthday…
For this reason, I am excited that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised the profile of MND.
Every piece of knowledge I gain, every story I hear, sees the compassion I have for those who are living with, or have died with, MND increase…I can only hope that you too feel this way.
If you would like to support MND in Australia (with or without the ice bucket!), follow this link www.mndaust.asn.au , you can also read about the Association and their research.
PS In case you are wondering, no, I haven’t poured a bucket of ice water over my head…I prefer my ice in a bucket like the photograph attached to this post…but I have donated some cash, and I encourage you all to do the same if you can!