May 30th, 2022
“The enormity of what I faced was too big to contemplate – it could only be bitten off in pieces,” said Mark Dignam, living with MND
Motor Neurone Disease National Awareness Month
It all started so simply. A slight limp in his left leg. In April 2020, one month after an unprecedented lockdown and a world full of restrictions, Mark Dignam (50) was faced with another challenge. How to tell his wife and two children that he had just been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).
“Slowly but surely the mountain will be climbed, one foot in front of the other. An ankle splint and walking stick have been replaced by a walker and more recently, a powered wheelchair for longer distances,” said Mark.
Mark is fronting our Drink Tea for MND campaign this June. He shares his story about life with Motor Neurone Disease in the hope that greater awareness will generate increased support for those living with this degenerative and debilitating condition.
“When people ask me what the disease is like, I say it’s intrusive – it intrudes on almost every aspect of your life. And just when you think you have managed a symptom or restriction, it intrudes again. Even though the symptoms of MND are very individual, it’s this intrusion that is common, very personal and debilitating,” said Mark.
To help support Mark and the MND Awareness month, we want you to Drink Tea for MND in June! So put the kettle on and have a cuppa to help provide essential services to over 400 families’ right across Ireland affected by this disease.
“Initially, I chose to tell a very small group of immediate family and sought out a therapist to start to put order on what was happening. The IMNDA paid for the therapy and laid out a network of immediate support that all of my fellow sufferers rely on every single day,” said Mark.
To organise your very own Drink Tea for MND event, all you have to do is visit imnda.ie and register your tea event. For more information just email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can’t host a tea event, why not make a tea donation by visiting here https://fundraise.imnda.ie/event/drink-tea-for-mnd/search-for-fundraiser
“Two years after my diagnosis, the fact that I have made it this far, that life goes on and continues to be so worthwhile, gives me all the strength and determination I need,” said Mark.
The IMNDA provides specialised services for people affected by this debilitating disease such as equipment on loan, financial assistance towards home help, advice and home visits by MND Nurse. In order to provide these vital services the IMNDA depends heavily on the generosity of the public and supporters of the association who generate over 80% of its income.
“I have learned to be so grateful for the independence I have retained and the parts of me yet untouched by the disease; my mind, my voice and my sense of humour,” said Mark.
For more information please contact:
Maeve Leahy/Derbhla Wynne (01) 670 5942 or email email@example.com
Notes to Editor:
Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a progressive neurological condition that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord. This means messages gradually stop reaching muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting. MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. However, not all symptoms necessarily happen to everyone and it is unlikely they will all develop at the same time, or in any specific order.
The Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA) is the only organisation of its kind in this country. It was set up in May 1985 to provide care and support to people with Motor Neurone Disease, their carers, families and friends. There are currently over 400 people living with MND in Ireland. MND is often referred to as the 1,000 day disease as most people die within 1,000 days of being diagnosed. 1 person dies every 3 days from MND.
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