Sometimes Silence Speaks Volumes

Press Release

Sometimes Silence Speaks Volumes

Imagine an hour…a day….a week without speech. Imagine not being able to say ‘I love you’ this Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately that is the fate met by most people living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

Sharon Friel is a 42 year old Mum living in Donabate in Co. Dublin. She was diagnosed with MND in 2012. Sadly Sharon can no longer walk or speak. She communicates to her 8 year old son Senan mainly with the use of a communication aid.

“Losing my voice has been the cruellest symptom of MND.  Losing my voice has been the hardest loss from MND,” said Sharon.

Amanda McCormack from Cavan was diagnosed with MND when she was 26 years old. She was initially given a prognosis of between 3 and 5 years, she is now 44 years old.

“I never imagined my speech would go. If I knew then, what I know now, I wouldn’t be here writing this. MND has ruined my life, it’s a catastrophe. I am just a shadow of my former self. But there is no point crying over spilt milk, I’m making the most of a bad situation,” said Amanda.

Paul Lannon was diagnosed with MND in 2011. He originally hails from Kilkenny but is now living with his wife Sandra in Dunleer, Co Louth. Paul’s speech is now slowly starting to deteriorate.

“Having an itch…annoying! Having no movement and not able to scratch it…frustrating!! Having no speech as well and not able to ask for it to be scratched…TORTURE!!!” said Paul.

This February we are once again running our sponsored silence campaign #Voice4MND. All we ask is that you stay silent for a minimum of 30 minutes so you can experience what it would be like to lose your voice. Imagine one hour, imagine one day, imagine one week without your voice. We want you to give up your voice so you can experience what it is like for someone with MND.

All you have to do is to pick a day and duration for your silence. Then maybe think if you had no voice for a day how would you communicate – by app, by pen and paper?

Once you have carefully considered this set up your online fundraising page and get sponsor cards from our office just email  or you can simply text MND to 50300 to donate €2 (100% of text goes to IMNDA across most network providers. Some providers apply VAT which means a minimum of €1.63 will go to IMNDA. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline 076 6805278).

Spread awareness by sharing your sponsored silence on social media by using #Voice4MND. Nominate friends and families to join you – get your school or work colleagues to take part. Sometimes silence can speak volumes. Take on our challenge this February. Don’t let someone with MND suffer in silence; don’t let them live without a voice. Lose your voice so that others can be heard.


For more information please contact:

Maeve Leahy (01) 873 0422 or email