WHEN Meg Gleeson first decided to participate in the Walk to D’feet MND three years ago, it was to support a close friend whose dad had been diagnosed with the heartbreaking condition.
But three days before she walked, things became even more personal for Meg.
Her dad was also diagnosed.
An incurable condition, motor neurone disease is a nervous system disease that weakens muscles and affects physical function.
But while MND’s advance could not be slowed, Meg refused to sit still.
She joined in the Walk to D’feet MND with a renewed focus.
After Meg’s dad and another local man were diagnosed that year, the team — originally named Team Jeff in memory of Meg’s friend’s father — was renamed Team Heathcote.
It was a show of solidarity — a uniting of the community to raise awareness and support for individuals and families living with the disease.
And this year the local team raised more than $3200 at the walk in Bendigo.
‘‘We are always so grateful and overwhelmed by the support the community shows us. Either by walking with us, if they can, or donating to our team where all the money goes to MND Victoria,’’ Meg said.
‘‘A massive support this year was Koole Vale Merinos. They donated the proceeds of the wool off the rams at their sales and donated by their clients — which was a huge $865.’’
And Meg said the team won’t be calling it a day any time soon.
‘‘For as long as MND Victoria hold the charity walk there will always be a Team Heathcote,’’ she said.
‘‘We do many MND fundraisers now and the next big one in Heathcote will be the Australia Day MND Super Challenge Run by the Heathcote Bowling Club.
‘‘We encourage anyone and everyone to come on down to the bowls club, join in the fun and raise important funds for MND research.’’