Motor Neurone Disease Research Needs Help From You Now.

In one of the most successful fund raising campaigns ever seen in recent years the viral nature of Ice Bucket challenges on social media created a huge public awareness of ‘Motor Neurone disease‘ together with an avalanche of donations towards much needed research into this little known disease. The challenge started in the USA in 2014 and has reportedly since raised well over $100 million in the USA for research and support for sufferers.

motor neurone disease

Whilst the public is generally well educated on major diseases such as different forms of Cancer where research is generally well funded from donations the same cannot be said with Motor Neurone disease. Medical find solutions to such diseases is always lengthy and costly and funds for research soon dry up without regular donations.

So what is Motor Neurone Disease and how does it affect people who suffer from it?

MND Australia defines the disease as follows:- ‘Motor neurone disease (MND) is the name given to a group of diseases in which the nerve cells (neurones) controlling the muscles that enable us to move, speak, breathe and swallow undergo degeneration and die. Motor function is controlled by the upper motor neurones in the brain that descend to the spinal cord; these neurones activate lower motor neurones.  The lower motor neurones exit the spinal cord and directly activate muscles.  With no nerves to activate them, muscles gradually weaken and waste. MND can affect a person’s ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe.’ In summary it is a fatal muscle wasting disease where the average life expectancy is from two to five years from onset of symptoms.

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Here in Australia Ice Bucket challenges only started gaining momentum in 2015 and according to a spokesperson from the MND Association of WA  it used to only receive online donations of a few hundred dollars per month but since the challenges began a total of $1 million was raised across Australia in 2015.

motor neurone disease


The spokesperson, the association’s WA executive officer Fionnuala Franey said she has never seen anything like it. “In terms of awareness this is the biggest thing that MND has ever had” she said. ” It is absolutely huge and the impact long term will hopefully be that people will now be much more aware of what MND is, the impact it has and how devastating it is” ” When people find out about MND and that there is still a disease like this, that there is no cause, no cure and no treatment they are quite shocked that in modern health science that situation still prevails”

So the whole purpose of having a bucket of cold water poured over you and then for you to nominate others to experience the same fate is to create a snowball effect of establishing public awareness worldwide of this devastating disease and producing an ever increasing flow of donations into vital research. Hopefully one day the weight of money spent on this research will produce the long awaited breakthrough and cure for Motor Neurone disease.





My challenge to everyone is to dig deep into your pockets and whether or not you have been on the receiving end of a bucket of icy water to donate today to this very worthy cause in your country! If you are hesitant in donating don’t forget that famous saying ‘There but for the grace of God go I” if you have been fortunately spared that terrible misfortune of being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

Donations can be made to the main MND Asoociation or to similar named organisations in your country.


James Kelly

High Wycombe, Western Australia,6057