Saturday 24 March 2018

Meet the people who will benefit from the ice-bucket challenge

Catriona O'Brien (left) Motor Neuron Disease sufferer
Catriona O'Brien (left) Motor Neuron Disease sufferer
Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke takes part in the ice bucket challenge in aid of Light it up Gold for Childhood Cancer Awarenes and Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association

Fiona Gribben

THESE are the people who will benefit most from the Motor Neurone Disease ice-bucket challenge.

The charity fundraising initiative has taken the country by storm with thousands of videos showing participants dousing themselves with freezing water in aid of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA).

The condition affects about 300 people in Ireland and for these sufferers the challenge presents an invaluable opportunity to raise much need funds and awareness for the rare disease.

For one Dublin family the viral sensation, which has raised €850,000 for the charity so far, was a chance to highlight their very personal connection to the condition and they stand to benefit from the support of IMNDA.

Luke O'Shaughnessy whose mother Christine from Kilnamanagh was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in May of this year features in a unique risqué send up of the craze along with other members of his family.

According to the 28-year old, the clip reflects the family's attitude to the MND.

"It is a very cruel disease with devastating consequences, as a family we try and be as positive about things as we can," he told the Herald.

"We deal with it with as much humour as possible, I suppose this makes it easier to cope."

Catriona O'Brien from Galway was also diagnosed this year in April. However looking at the photos she has shared on Facebook you would never guess that the beautiful young woman is battling the incurable condition.

The resilient Galway women said she wants to be "the next Stephen Hawking and outlive the blasted thing."

"It is progressing quite quickly, which terrifies me," she said. "Some days I need help getting dressed, walking, or with simple things like getting out of a chair."

The mum-of-one described how she was refusing to succumb to her illness and was instead focusing her energies on raising awareness of MND.

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