SEVEN years after he launched a tireless public campaign to raise awareness about motor neurone disease, FightMND co-founder Ian Davis ensured his final words were reserved for his family.
In a public post only hours before his death yesterday, Dr Davis urged supporters to carry forward a message for his four-year-old son, Archie.
“I will leave this broken body with a full heart,” he said.
“Please tell my boy I love him and I’m so proud to be his dad.”
The 40-year-old was surrounded by his family before his life support was switched off.
The campaign to raise awareness and funding for the disease that robs sufferers of all movement and speech was first started by MND Victoria but accelerated after Dr Davis launched the FightMND campaign with the help of cofounder Pat Cunningham and footy legend Neale Daniher.
Diagnosed in 2011 when he was just 33, Dr Davis dedicated his time to fundraising critical dollars to commit to research and drug development.
His medical background enabled him to provide the foundation with significant expertise and hasten progress in the quest to find a suitable treatment and cure.
FightMND has raised more than $40 million in the past four years.
Chairman Bill Guest said Dr Davis’ significant contribution left a lasting legacy.
“Since the foundation was established following Ian’s own diagnosis, his tireless work, passion and commitment to the ongoing fight to find a cure has impacted and inspired people affected by MND worldwide,” Mr Guest said.
“Among his many achievements was the creation of the inaugural Australasian Motor Neurone Disease Symposium in March 2018, attracting over 400 delegates from around the world, who all assembled with the joint intent to create a world free from MND.
“Without Ian Davis’ vision, FightMND would not have been founded and we would not have been able to progress as far and as quickly as we have in medical research for MND.
“Ian’s dedication to the fight against MND continued until his final days ensuring in his absence the same rigour will be applied to the pursuit of the most promising research.
“All the people affected by the disease, be they patients, families, carers and researchers, have a great deal to thank Ian for.”
Health Minister Jill Hennessy was among supporters to issue tributes. “My deep condolences to all who knew and loved Ian. So smart, funny, determined and compassionate.”
Story Source: FightMND / Herald Sun
Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.