On-field ri­vals team up for mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease fight

Albany Extra - - NEWS - Steve But­ler

The giv­ing spirit of re­gional WA was ev­i­dent in one of Aus­tralia’s most high-pro­file med­i­cal fundrais­ers.

AFL great Neale Dani­her’s fight for life has be­come cen­tral to the bid to find a cure for mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease and two coun­try sports com­mu­ni­ties have com­bined to raise $105,000 in the past two years for the cause.

The Lake Grace-Pin­grup Win­ter Sports Club and the Box­wood Hill Foot­ball Club have been on-field ri­vals for more than 20 years but were united against MND af­ter they lost two stal­warts to the dis­ease Dani­her calls “the Beast”.

The com­mu­ni­ties, with a com­bined 1400 res­i­dents, acted af­ter the deaths of res­i­dents Rick Swar­brick and Steve King. “We’ve formed a brother-sis­ter re­la­tion­ship over the years,” Lake GracePin­grup pres­i­dent John O’Neill said of the two clubs.

“They were the sort of peo­ple you just trea­sure and they’re hard to re­place.” Dani­her is the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind the Big Freeze at the G at the MCG on Mon­day, when par­tic­i­pants will slide into a freez­ing cold ice pit to raise funds for the cause..

The an­nual event has helped raise $30 mil­lion for MND re­search.

Pic­ture: Ian Munro

The Lake Grace-Pin­grup and Box­wood Hill clubs have raised more than $100,000 in the past two years as­part of the MND Big Freeze. Pic­tured from left are Eva and Luke Bairstow, Yas­mine Feather­stone, John O’Neill, Royce Tay­lor, Joely Slinn, Abby Bairstow,...

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