“We couldn’t survive without them.” This is how a Tullamore resident describes the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA).
Carmel Harty spends every weekend in Limerick with her 54-year-old sister Mary, who was diagnosed with MND in October 2012.
The association has provided Carmel’s sister with a special bed, mattress, ventilator, cough assist machine and an IGaze communication device. “They’re such a back-up,” Carmel explained. “They’re wonderful.”
Carmel is not the only one to praise the work of the IMNDA. Cloghan man Eoin Kerin also said the organisation is a great support. Eoin’s father was diagnosed with MND in January 2012 and died that October, aged 66.
“Having seen the work the IMNDA does, from supporting people, to equipment and advice and everything in between, people really should give them a hand out in any way they can,” Eoin said. “They need all the help they can get.”
Fidelma Rutledge is an IMNDA nurse who covers Offaly. She said there are between eight and ten MND sufferers in Offaly at any one time. After getting a diagnosis, she said sufferers are typically “completely lost”, but with help can access all the services they need.
“This is our huge month,” Fidelma said, adding that it’s not only about fundraising, but also about raising awareness of MND.
Over 80 per cent of the IMNDA’s funds are from fundraising. This month you can help by organising or supporting a 'Drink Tea for MND’ event. More information is available at firstname.lastname@example.org or on freephone 1800 403403. Donations of €2 can be made by texting MND to 50300.