Sunday 11 December 2016

Ice bucket challenge may be over, but charity still needs your fundraising help

Clarissa Waldron

Published 11/06/2015 | 08:21

Newstalks Jonathan Healypours a cup of tea for Loretto Dempsey outside SuperValue Blanchardstown.
Newstalks Jonathan Healypours a cup of tea for Loretto Dempsey outside SuperValue Blanchardstown.
Loretto Dempsey

It's a medical condition that got a torrent of publicity as celebrities poured ice buckets over themselves in a sensational online phenomenon last year.

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But now one Dublin Motor Neurone Disease sufferer - Loretto Dempsey (50) - has opened up about how the disease has affected her, and how vital funds are needed for research and equipment for patients.

The IT specialist from Whitehall is the voice of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association's (IMNDA) current radio campaign.

"In October 2013 I noticed I kept dropping things," she told the Herald.

"I went to the doctor and she referred me to a neurologist. I was then diagnosed in the Mater."

MND has no known cause, although a smaller number of cases are thought to be hereditary.

It is characterised by a loss of power of the body's muscles and results in speaking, swallowing and eventually breathing difficulties.

"The brain doesn't tell the muscles what to do so the muscles waste away," Loretto said.

affected

"For most people it starts in their speech and swallow but my speech has only been affected in the last month. I was lucky that way I suppose.

"I need help getting dressed and washing. I need someone to feed me.

"I can't stand up, I've lost the power in my legs and I have a hoist that moves me from bed to wheelchair."

She said that the IMNDA needs continued funding for research to find a cure and to supply wheelchairs and other equipment.

People can support the IMNDA by free-phoning 1800 403 403 to receive a 'tea for MND day' pack or text MND to 50300 to donate €2.

Herald

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