Bev Smith spent two years nursing her good friend and motor neurone disease sufferer Robbi Skinner.
In that time, she says, the full extent of the insidious disease became a reality.
“I nursed Robbi for two years before she passed away in 2012. That included everything from taking her to doctor’s appointments in Newcastle and Sydney to spoon feeding her to, eventually, tube feeding her in her final days,” Bev says.
“It is insidious, this disease. It doesn’t know age barriers and can strike anyone.
“I’ll be honest, I didn’t know a thing about MND till Robbi was diagnosed.”
That has certainly changed.
During one of their regular visits to an MND-hosted morning tea, Bev caught onto a conversation where the idea of a walk was raised.
“The morning teas were great, because MND would come up and sit and talk with the people with the disease to see if they could help them.
“I couldn’t fault the support MND NSW provided during the time I was nursing Robbi. There was access to wheelchairs, beds, cushions and talking machines.
“That’s where the idea came up for a fundraising walk. I wanted to give back for their support and that’s how I got involved in the walk and getting information on MND out to the public.”
I wanted to give back for their support and that’s how I got involved in the walk and getting information on MND out to the public.MND coordinator Bev Smith
From that day on, Walk to d-feet MND has become a reality on the Port Macquarie calendar.
Bev has coordinated sponsors and supporters for the September event and is continuing to sell raffle tickets at several prominent spots around Port Macquarie.
But she needs more help.
“I would love to hear from people willing to become involved at any level,” she said.
“I just want to get more understanding about MND out to the public. The more information we can get out the more understanding we will get in the community about this disease.”
MND NSW will host a morning tea on Tuesday July 11 at The Alzheimer’s Australia NSW Port Macquarie Dementia and Memory Community Centre at 121 Bridge Street. To check on the time, contact Bev Smith on 0411 335 104.
Walk to d-feet MND is on Sunday September 17, starting from Westport Park at 10am. The walk is five kilometres to Town Beach. You can pre-register at www.mndnsw.asn.au Registration is available on the day but at a higher rage. Walk t-shirts are only availalble with pre-registration prior to September 10.
For more information on MND NSW contact 1800 777 175 or email firstname.lastname@example.org