17 June 2022 The Ararat Advocate

ON Monday I was pleased to be part of the eighth edition of Big Freeze at the MCG, where former footy stars and celebrities made a splash to support Neale Daniher and his FightMND campaign.

With over $2 million being raised from the community on the day from donations and the sale of now instantly recognisable FightMND beanies, there is no doubting the success of the work of Neale and his team to meaningfully address the scourge of motor neurone disease (MND) in our community.

I was especially pleased to see the commitment made by the Albanese Labor Government at the ground that it would provide $4 million to ensure the continuing battle against MND is well armed.

Whilst so much good work has already been done, there is still so much that remains, and only by working together can we hope to achieve the dream of an MND-free future.

The funds— announced during the AFL match between Collingwood and Melbourne by the Minister for Health and Aged Care, Mark Butler— will be provided over the next two years to FightMND in its quest to better understand the causes of this devastating disease and pursue potential treatments and a cure.

FightMND’s vision of a world without MND is one shared by our Government.

MND is rightly considered a beast. It is an insidious disease that gradually affects the use of your arms and legs, your ability to eat and swallow, your speech and finally, your ability to breathe.

Affecting more than 2,000 Australians, tragically the average survival rate is just over two years and with no effective treatments or a cure, for these patients the focus is on easing symptoms, maintaining quality of life and staying mobile for as long as possible.

FightMND was co-founded in 2014 by renowned Essendon player and Melbourne Football Club coach Neale Daniher, who continues his personal battle against the disease.

Since his diagnosis in 2013, Neale has the disease and the Government applauds his strength and determination.

To date, FightMND has committed more than $55 million to MND research, new drug development and clinical trials.

I am delighted to be a part of the Government that is partnering with FightMND and look forward to the day when the MND beast is tamed.