Inaugural drive bags $200,000 for MND

Driving force: MNDAWA patrons former Test cricketer Kim Hughes (back seat) and former West Coast Eagles coach Ken Judge (driving) ham it up on the road.
Driving force: MNDAWA patrons former Test cricketer Kim Hughes (back seat) and former West Coast Eagles coach Ken Judge (driving) ham it up on the road.

Last Tuesday, while still on the return journey, co-organiser, former West Coast Eagles coach and AFL legend Ken Judge said the event raised about $200,000.

About 70 people attended the breakfast launch at Crown Casino.

Bateman resident Doug Bolton (70), who has MND, set an emotional tone performing a song he wrote for the drive, with the help of family members because he was losing his voice due to the condition.

Nearly 20 teams, including the 4 Bored Broads with Karen Smart from St James, set off in convoy for the 1500km drive up the WA coast with overnight stops at Cervantes, Geraldton and Kalbarri, before crossing the finish line in Carnarvon.

Judge has been an MNDAWA patron for about five years, after becoming involved with the organisation when his mate Kerry Coates, a premiership player and coach for East Fremantle Football Club, was diagnosed with MND in 2005. Coates died of the disease two years later.

‘Motor Neurone Disease is simply a horrible disease,’ Judge said.

‘At the time when Kerry was diagnosed with MND, I had no idea what a devastating diagnosis it was, so it’s something I am passionate about raising awareness for,’ he said.

‘MNDAWA doesn’t receive a lot of Government funding; it’s an association that relies on donations and the support of the community, so it’s terrific that an event of this magnitude will help raise money to support people with MND, as well as their carers.’

MND is a terminal neurological condition with no known cause or cure that robs patients of their ability to speak, move and eat but, in most cases, it leaves the mind healthy and intact.

Two people die each day from MND in Australia. The average survival time at diagnosis is just 27 months. For more information, visit www.mndawa. asn.au or call 9346 7355.