A Voice in the Wilderness by Andy McGovern
December 14th, 2020
The year 2020 will go down in history. The year when the whole world slowed down. A time when people took a step back, relaxed and stayed at home, spent more time with family. People gave thanks and appreciated all that they had. Please God if I’m spared, this will be my 87th Christmas on this earth. These old eyes have seen it all, the good and the bad. I’m thankful that life has bestowed upon me a calm perspective.
For 43 years I faced each day with MND. Many days I struggled desperately searching for my inner hero. Thankfully many more days were met with humour and laughter as I deeply appreciated the gift of another day on this earth. Not a day goes by that my thoughts don’t turn to my fellow warriors as united we strive to raise awareness of our plight. Any opportunity presented will always find me campaigning for our cause. Over the past months I listened with interest as the COVID-19 crisis unfolded. I watched learned scientists chase the elusive ‘cure’. I heard about the billions of dollars which were being channeled to find a treatment for this virus. A bottomless budget was available. I prayed that none of the 400 MND patients in Ireland would be inflicted by COVID-19. God knows we have enough to deal with.
My thoughts turn to the late Fr Tony Coote, the desperate measure he had to take to secure the services of an extra nurse for our Association. Walking from Donegal to Cork. Surely something is not right here?
MND is not a virus, it’s a terminal disease. Should our association not warrant more than a mere 20% government funding which it receives? Do our people not deserve more? We lose three people each week to this disease. Families watch in horror, helpless as their loved one wastes away.
Good men must never remain silent. As the Blessed season of Christmas arrives, I pray it’s a safe, happy and peaceful one for you all. My greatest prayer is that our turn will come. One day soon the wise men will not forget us. Please God they will come from the East bringing with them gifts of treatment and a cure for this terminal illness.
MND is not an incurable disease. It’s an underfunded disease. God bless you all.
Andy McGovern, MND survivor