MND campaign rolls into twin towns
EVERY DAY in Australia, two people are diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, and every day two people will die from the disease.
MND paralyses the muscles of the body, meaning those with the disease lose the ability to walk, talk, swallow, and eventually breathe, all while the mind remains intact.
There is no known cure, and no effective treatment for the condition.
Since his diagnosis in 2013, former AFL footballer Neale Daniher has taken it upon himself to raise the profile of ‘‘the beast’’ as he calls it, and in turn has raised the amount of fundraising towards research for treatments.
While the Big Freeze at the G gains nationwide attention, Daniher’s other major fundraising effort, a drive through country Victoria and New South Wales, is raring to go.
The third iteration of Daniher’s Drive rolls through EchucaMoama today.
A total of 100 cars and more than 300 people will drive through the region to raise money for the Cure for MND Foundation.
The fleet includes a number of big names from the footballing world, including Daniher’s former teammate Paul Van der haar, as well as recent champions of the game including Russell Robertson, David Neitz and Brad Green, all who played with the Melbourne Demons during Daniher’s time as a coach.
Rebecca Daniher, the daughter of Neale, said as the fundraising efforts grow, more people who are affected by a family member suffering from the condition are becoming a part of the fundraising efforts.
‘‘We’ve found that a lot of the participants have family who have been affected by MND, so for them to be involved in a fundraiser that is raising money for a cure and a treatment for MND, it’s very personal for a lot of people, not just for ourselves,’’ Rebecca said.
The drive began at The Hyatt Place in Essendon Fields, the footballing home of the Daniher Dynasty, where all four of the Daniher siblings represented the red and black in a combined 618 games, and where Neale’s nephew Joe is reigning best and fairest.
At the launch of the drive, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews donated a further $250,000 to the cause on behalf of the Victorian Government.
After driving through Wagga Wagga yesterday, the fleet is on its way to Echuca-Moama today, after a brief stop Corowa RSL for a Demons v Dons 20/20 bowling extravaganza.
As part of their stop off in town, the members of Daniher’s Drive will be taking a ride on the Paddlesteamers upon their arrival in Echuca.
‘‘We’re always amazed by the community spirit when we stop off at the towns...they always come out in droves, which is always fantastic to see,’’ Rebecca said of the spirit of country towns.
The main event of the stop off in Echuca is the Comedy Gala Auction Night, taking place at Dungala at 6:30pm tonight.
The night will feature comedians Dave Hughes and Adam Rozenbachs, and also includes a raffle for a Volvo V40, and an auction throughout the night.
Entry to the comedy night is $120 per head, with the option to purchase a table of eight for $960.
‘‘We’re really excited to come down to Echuca-Moama,’’ she said.
‘‘We just ask for everyone to come down and be a part of it.’’
All tickets to the event are purchasable through the Cure for MND Foundation, which can be found at curemnd.org.au.
Driving forward: Essendon AFL player Joe Daniher (left) and his uncle Neale are revved up to fight MND.