Motor show highlights MND
After watching motor neurone disease (MND) slowly rob his once outgoing daughter of life a Tokoroa father is organising a special motor show to boost awareness of the debilitating disease.
Neville Beale’s voice faltered as he recalled the struggle his adult daughter Kerry Vondervoort went through in her final months.
‘‘She was a bright girl and could take everything in but couldn’t let anything out. She had three and a half years of it, imagine your mind being that clogged up,’’ he said.
It’s been four months since the mother of two, who grew up in Tokoroa, died from the disease which causes nerve cells that control muscles, enabling movement, speech, swallowing, and breathing, to die. She was just 48.
‘‘At one stage she had three part-time jobs, she kept a wonderful house, and she was a keen sportsperson. She was a bloody ball of energy but in the end she was just a blob in a bed or a blob in a chair and that was the cruelest thing,’’ Beale said.
The disease, which has no known cause, is uncommon in New Zealand affecting about one in 15,000 and most sufferers, who are mainly men, are diagnosed once they are over 40 years old.
MND New Zealand hosts Walk 2 D’feet MND walkathons each year to raise money and awareness of the disease but it still largely remains unknown.
Seeing what his daughter went through, Beale, a longtime car enthusiast, is hoping to change that by organising the South Waikato Vintage Car Club’s first ever event for charity.
On Saturday, April 8 outside South Waikato Water Solutions in Campbell St Tokoroa from 9am until 2pm, about 40 vintage and collectable vehicles will gather for a special show.
‘‘For some time we had been discussing that we had not done anything for an organisation despite there being so many good causes. That was as far as we got until my daughter died so we have decided to put on a motor show to raise money for research and support of people living with MND,’’ he said.
‘‘It will be a gold coin donation or more to come along and we will also be giving people the opportunity to ask about MND.’’
‘‘MND New Zealand has walkathons but this is an individual thing and they are absolutely rapt,’’ he said.
South Waikato Vintage Car Club secretary John Patterson, chairman Peter Smit, and member Neville Beale.