MND cam­paign rolls into twin towns

The Riverine Herald - - BOWLS - By An­drew John­ston

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.

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