Neal Daniher ‘Plays On’ to fight MND for others

Neale Daniher and his army of supporters to fight MND (Image Credit: FightMND).

WHEN diagnosed with MND the average life expectancy is only 27 months. Remarkably, it’s been 7 years since Neal Daniher, a former AFL player and coach, and now patron of Fight MND was diagnosed with what he calls “The Beast”.

MND is a degenerative disease that affects the nerves, motor neurones, that communicate between the brain and the muscles that enable us to move, speak, swallow and breathe.

There is currently no cure for MND, however, symptoms can be managed to help improve quality of life and potentially extend life expectancy.

This year, Fight MND, which aims to find effective treatments and ultimately a cure for the disease, included the words ‘Play On’ on their iconic beanies, which has so far raised almost $50 million for vital research.

When faced with adversity we all have the decision to surrender or keep up the fight. We need you to ‘Play On’ and keep fighting alongside us as we take on “The Beast”.

“Dad always said that he never believed there was nothing for him to do,” Bec Daniher, Neal Daniher’s daughter, said in an emotional video on fightmnd.org.au.

“That there was a fight ahead of him that he could take on, and he could wrestle back control, and he could make a difference.

“He took the philosophy of ‘Let’s play on’, let’s find the opportunity, let’s fight back. MND is affecting Dad. He’s starting to lose his voice, and his ability to be the face of this fight,” Bec added.

Every beanie purchased counts. Each dollar raised, no matter how small, is a stepping stone to finding a cure, and with your support, FightMND hopes to continue this momentum and give those diagnosed hope and something to smile about.

“MND is a beast. We’re now entering a critical phase of our fight. We need members of our arm to now really step up to take the lead in our fight,” Neale said in the video.

Last year, FightMND raised an incredible $11.9 million across the country as part of the annual Big Freeze fundraiser, despite the main event being cancelled due to COVID-19.

Around 90 per cent of MND cases are known as sporadic MND, which means that there are no known other cases in the family. The cause of sporadic MND is unknown. The remaining 10 per cent of cases are familial MND and are caused by an inherited genetic mutation.

Every day, two Australians are diagnosed with MND and two die from the disease. There are currently over 2,100 Australians living with MND.

“Neale’s fighting for all the people who will get MND and hopefully there will be a treatment and a cure for the disease,” Jan Daniher, Neale’s wife, said.

Neale added: “People say to me: Why do you do what you do? It’s not about me, it’s about others.”

To purchase a beanie, or to donate, please visit: fightmnd.org.au.

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Ryan Fritz

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.

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