MANY football and netball clubs across the Wimmera on Saturday will get behind the AFL Victoria’s Sockit2MND Round, raising money for Motor Neurone Disease.
The round is on the back of the AFL’s annual Queen’s Birthday Freeze at the G event, supporting football legend Neale Daniher’s fight with the disease.
The disease is a debilitating one – it affects a person’s nerve cells which gives us the ability to speak, move, breathe and swallow.
Those with MND face a long battle, it is considered a terminal disease and there is no known cure. The disease eats away at a person’s neurones and muscles stop working. People often die from respiratory failure because of MND, as it stops a person’s ability to breathe.
MND can affect anyone, and according to Motor Neurone Disease Australia two people in Australia die from the disease each day. A further two people are diagnosed with MND each day.
On Saturday MND takes centre stage at our football and netball grounds. It’s a time to get behind the cause – buy a pair of socks or a MND beanie and take the plunge into some freezing water. Many clubs will be donating funds to aid research into the disease.
As with many causes which take the spotlight on a particular weekend or time of the year, it’s important to remember those with the disease have to deal with it every day. They don’t have the liberty of talking about the disease on one weekend of the year.
For the more than 2000 people who have the disease in Australia the terminal disease is their reality every single day, as it is for their family, friends and carers.
This weekend provides a chance for the region’s sporting circles to contribute what they can to the cause, but to also reflect on the fragility of one’s health.
Health is arguably what we value most, above owning a house or having money. Don’t take it for granted that you can walk and talk as those with MND slowly lose their abilities.
These are the weekends where we often see the best out of our sporting clubs. They show the true power of a community. While teams will battle it out on the field and show their true competitive spirit, the importance of a club goes a lot further than what happens in the space of four quarters.
Together we can make a difference to a cause which has truly united a country.
Sean Wales, Sports Journalist