Ken putting MND on the map

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health - By KATE LEAVER

KEN MacLen­nan did not re­alise what Mo­tor Neu­rone Dis­ease (MND) was un­til two peo­ple in his life were struck down by the de­bil­i­tat­ing con­di­tion.

See­ing the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects so close to home, Mr MacLen­nan pi­o­neered the an­nual MND Drive, this year ti­tled South­west Ad­ven­ture 2016, to raise funds and aware­ness about the dis­ease.

“Hav­ing an un­der­stand­ing that this dis­ease is deadly gave me a whole new per­spec­tive on it,” he said.

“One of my col­leagues was in­ca­pac­i­tated in a wheel­chair and nearly dead. Be­fore that I didn’t ac­tu­ally even know what the dis­ease was and how it af­fects peo­ple.

“I was sit­ting on the couch watch­ing Top Gear with a beer and the most pop­u­lar episodes were when they did road trips, which made me think there are a lot of peo­ple who en­joy a good fun road trip, which is where the con­cept of the drive started.”

Now in its fourth year, par­tic­i­pants will fol­low each other con­voystyle and with a set of clues, through the WA coun­try­side, all with the hopes of rais­ing much­needed funds and aware­ness.

“It’s the best feel­ing of ca­ma­raderie be­tween the group, and it’s in­fec­tious,” Mr MacLen­nan said.

“Each team re­ally gets in­volved with the fundrais­ing in the lead-up to the event, and to date we have raised more than half a mil­lion dol­lars for MND.

“I’d love to get over $200,000 for this year; that is the tar­get.”

The group will leave from the East Fre­man­tle Foot­ball Club on Oc­to­ber 21 with a send-off break­fast, be­fore ar­riv­ing in Bus­sel­ton for the first evening.

“All up over three days and two nights, the 16 cars in the con­voy will cover around 800km of ground,” Mr MacLen­nan said.

MNDAWA ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Maeve Egan said the or­gan­i­sa­tion re­lied heav­ily on com­mu­nity gen­eros­ity. To reg­is­ter, visit www.mnd­

Picture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d455335

MND Drive creator Ken MacLen­nan.

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