Friends’ fundraiser brews up support
Hamilton woman Leianne Nordstrom has seen the effects of Motor Neuron Disease and rallied friends to a morning tea fundraiser for the cause.
They gathered at her Beerescourt home on Wednesday to support Cuppa Tea for MND, a nation-wide campaign by Motor Neuron Disease NZ to raise funds for support services and promote awareness of the condition.
She’s also asking others to have similar events to support the cause.
“We’re asking people to donate what they have, a cuppa tea cost, but if they can go further then the work goes further. That’s one of our things that we say regularly as a group, ‘we go further when we do this together’,” Nordstrom said.
It was standing room only with about 20 women filling Nordstrom’s lounge and kitchen as they chatted and sipped cups of tea and coffee and nibbled finger food.
Debbie Trower was at the gathering to help a friend.
“Leianne brought me here today. She’s doing this morning tea and fundraiser for one of her best friends. Her best friend’s mother died of Motor Neuron Disease.”
MND is the world’s third mostcommon neurodegenerative disorder, after Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and Leianne saw its devastating effect on her friend’s mother, Sese.
“Initially it was her speech. Then weakness. She was a very healthy, active woman. She lived a really clean, healthy life.
“Her vitality dropped and because of her age that was one of the hard things to see.
“She had a quick decline after that second year of diagnosis . . . cognitively they’re so so aware of all that’s happening around them but she lost her speech so that was hard for us,” she said.
Despite the terrible circumstances and losing Sese in 2016, Nordstrom found inspiration in the courage with which she’d faced the disease.
“Sese just emanated joy. Sese saw the cup always half fill even in her suffering. She thought outside herself and her family will never forget what she was even in her final days. When I think of Sese I think of a giving, joyful woman that even near the end gave of her love, gave of her interest of others and that’s what will always keep me invested in it.”
When asked what people could do to help Leianne replied, “Become informed. Support MND NZ so we can support the families. If you could give a good amount, it helps us to find out the causes and then possible treatments. As yet, there’s no key treatment and so it takes some good people. We’d love to do more.”
■ Global MND Awareness Day was June 21. New Zealand’s MND Awareness Week runs from June 18 to 24. For more information visit mnd.org.nz.
Leianne Nordstrom (standing right) with friends gathered at her Hamilton home on Wednesday for a Cuppa Tea for MND fundraiser.