CHEQUE PRESENTATION: Kerry Friends of Motor Neurone Disease Chairman Christy Lehane presented a cheque for €11,250 to Marie Reavey (Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association Regional Development Officer) in the Killarney Plaza Hotel on Thursday night last week. Also seated are: Tom MacDonnell (left) and Pat Kelleher (right). Back from left are: Nora Murphy, Denis Russell, Mary Lehane, Paddy O’Keeffe and Sheila Casey. Picture: Eamonn Keogh


By Michelle Crean

There was lots of important information and advice at a recent public information meeting for those living with the effects of Motor Neurone Disease.

The well attended meeting, hosted by Kerry Friends of Motor Neurone, took place in the Killarney Plaza Hotel on Thursday last week.

The theme of the meeting was ‘Telling Kerry’s Story’ of people’s association with Motor Neurone Disease, explained Christy Lehane, Chairman Kerry Friends of Motor Neurone.

“Following a short introduction the meeting was addressed by Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association’s Regional Development Officer, Marie Reavey, who informed the meeting of the work the Association does for Motor Neurone sufferers like providing home visits by MND nurses, providing financial assistance towards home care, provision of specialised medical equipment and funding for counselling and research. Marie also informed the meeting that 86 percent of their annual budget is reliant on fundraising and explaining where this money is spent.”

Alan MacDonnell, formerly from Kilgarvan, gave a very moving account of his mother Mary’s seven year battle with MND.

Doctor Dominika Lisiecka, a Speech and Language Therapist, addressed the meeting and told in simple language of her interactions with Motor Neurone patients stating that something as simple as listening to the patient does make a huge difference in understanding MND, not alone for the patient but for the doctor also.

Rathmore man John O’Neill told the meeting of his wife Bridie’s association with MND which in Bridie’s case was a short illness. Never the less she did not let it curtail her love of holidays and travel, and Bridie was active up until the end.

“We had a video presentation from Derrynane native John O’Donoghue, currently residing in Brisbane, Australia. John told the meeting of his Motor Neurone journey and included a video of his visit home earlier this year.

IMNDA specialist Nurse Katie Kinsella was the final speaker on the night and she outlined her work with MND sufferers and their families.

In conclusion, Christy read an email he received from Andy McGovern from Leitrim, who happens to be the world’s longest MND sufferer, having lived with the disease for 41 years.

“Andy is a true IMNDA ambassador and is always on hand to listen and help other Motor Neurone sufferers. Kerry Friends of Motor Neurone hope that the meeting was of some help and enlightenment to people,” he said.