Brother, you’re our in­spi­ra­tion

Dani­her sib­lings tell of Neale’s drive to find MND cure

Herald Sun - - NEWS - PETER ROLFE @rolfep

NEALE Dani­her’s broth­ers and sis­ters have paid trib­ute to their in­spi­ra­tional sib­ling as he fights for a cure to the deadly dis­ease that he ad­mits may take him first.

Broth­ers Terry, An­thony and Chris and six of his seven sis­ters have joined him on a tour of Vic­to­ria and South Aus­tralia to sup­port his quest to Fight MND — mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease.

De­spite the chal­lenges of see­ing their brother face the fight of his life, Dani­her’s sib­lings said fun, happiness and hope were driv­ing them.

El­dest brother Terry said join­ing this week’s Dani­her Drive through coun­try Vic­to­ria and South Aus­tralia to raise aware­ness of MND had brought the fam­ily even closer.

“We’re all in­spired by what he’s done and he doesn’t miss a beat, he is al­ways ask­ing for more and ‘enough’ is not good enough,” he said.

“But he is se­ri­ous about it and he is hell­bent that, as long as he can breathe, he wants to keep chip­ping away at it.

“And by jeeze, it will be one hell of a cel­e­bra­tion when we do even­tu­ally find the cure — and hope­fully that’s in the near fu­ture.”

Re­cre­at­ing an iconic photo taken when the four broth­ers played to­gether for Essendon in 1990, Dani­her’s broth­ers gave their in­sight into a self­less man many say should be Aus­tralian of The Year.

Chris said Neale wanted peo­ple to en­joy life.

“It’s al­ways been a big fo­cus of Neale that he doesn’t want to be dreary, and as a fam­ily with get-to­geth­ers we al­ways have a lot of fun and this is no dif­fer­ent,’’ he said.

It comes af­ter the four-day con­voy raised more than $2.2 mil­lion in the first 24 hours, tak­ing its four-year to­tal to more than $7 mil­lion.

Just 5 per cent of that has gone on ad­min­is­tra­tion costs.

The con­voy last night rolled into Mt Gam­bier and will re­turn to Vic­to­ria to fin­ish to­mor­row in Gee­long, where the to­tal fundrais­ing tally will be re­vealed.

An­thony said Neale had “nat­u­ral lead­er­ship and a love of fun”. “That is what peo­ple love. All his life he has loved fun … even through his jour­ney with MND, mu­sic and fun and laugh­ter has been re­ally im­por­tant which helps him get through,” he said.

“He wants to be sur­rounded by peo­ple who are pos­i­tive.

“You just ad­mire him, he’s just self­less and we are all be­hind him. His sell is hope and that is what peo­ple want.”

An­thony said the de­ci­sion to take the bat­tle to the re­gions was a mas­ter­stroke.

“MND doesn’t just live in the cities,’’ he said.

“It lives all around Aus­tralia and so many peo­ple are touched by it, and so by com­ing out here — hit­ting the road is shar­ing the love.’’

Sis­ter Dorothy Vear­ing said Fight MND had be­come “a ma­jor part of our fam­ily”.

“Neale has made it his cause to find a cure and make peo­ple aware of it, and we have be­come very much part of that,” she said.

“He is ex­hausted but he keeps go­ing, he’s got a pur­pose and he’s driven to find a cure for this beastly dis­ease, and hope­fully with all of this we will find that cure.”

Neale Dani­her’s high school footy coach Ray Car­roll re­vealed that in three weeks the for­mer Essendon cap­tain would be in­ducted into the ranks of the As­sump­tion Col­lege Crick­eters of the Cen­tury,

“He was a great crick­eter and as a good bat as (David) Warner and some of those blokes,’’ he said. “He is the sort of guy who should be made Aus­tralian of the Year. A re­mark­able ef­fort by a re­mark­able guy.’’

Alan Lis­ter, who drove a har­ness rac­ing start­ing gate truck from Mil­dura to be part of the Dani­her Drive, said Dani­her was be­yond in­spi­ra­tional. “He could have just sat back and felt sorry for him­self and lived the rest of his life in the dol­drums,’’ he said. “But look what he has done. I met him this morn­ing and he is a won­der­ful bloke.’’


An­thony, Terry, Neale and Chris Dani­her this week on Dani­her’s Drive (top), all for one in 1990 as Bombers play­ers (above); and their sis­ters this week, Dorothy, Nerolee, Estelle, Colleen and Julie (left) .

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