Shark challenge fundraiser for MND

daredevil hopes to raise $50k
daredevil hopes to raise $50k

The Bedford daredevil will don a snorkel and attempt the September stunt at the Aquarium of Western Australia in honour of his father, who died from the degenerative disease 10 years ago, and a close friend who lost his battle last year.

‘Some may think I’m a little crazy to jump into a tank full of sharks,’ he said.

‘There are five grey nurse sharks, three sandbar whaler sharks plus a number of Port Jackson sharks, bamboo sharks and some wobbegongs.

‘Mentally I’ve been psyching myself up. I’m not especially scared ” yet. But I’m doing it for an incredibly worthwhile cause and I know dad and Horst would be proud of me.’

Mr Finch described MND as a ‘truly atrocious disease that strips away your life a little bit more every day’.

‘There is no cure and the average life expectancy at time of diagnosis is only 27 months,’ he said.

‘For my dad, MND affected his chest and throat first. So, he lost the ability to speak and eat very early on before starting to lose his ability to walk and his fine motor control.

‘Eventually, even his eyesight started to deteriorate so he could no longer read books.’

He said MND did not usually affect the mind so most sufferers become trapped inside a body they could no longer control.

‘It takes away even the smallest and simplest pleasures from you, and every day you can feel the progression of the disease,’ he said.

‘Dad was the kindest, most generous and giving person I have ever known. I cannot describe the cruelty of seeing dad in that state for the last years of his life. He passed away just after his 70th birthday ” far too young for a man who up until his diagnosis with MND was vibrant, healthy and seemed years younger than he was.’

As a BHP Billiton Iron Ore employee, Mr Finch is eligible for the BHP Billiton Matched Giving Program, with the company to consider matching any funds raised during the fundraiser dollar for dollar.

‘I believe I can make a really big difference’