Challenge a daily reminder of death

ALS sufferer Zoie Fenner-Dale pours a bucket of ice-cold water over her mother Tania Whittaker-Wilson as part of the ALS ice bucket challenge. Picture: Marcus Whisson d425241
ALS sufferer Zoie Fenner-Dale pours a bucket of ice-cold water over her mother Tania Whittaker-Wilson as part of the ALS ice bucket challenge. Picture: Marcus Whisson d425241

If she’s not suffering with chronic pain, it’s seeing ice bucket challenges that remind the 27-year-old she has two years left to live.

Ms Dale was given a five-year life sentence when she was diagnosed three years ago with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of incurable motor neurone disease (MND).

Since then she has suffered with chronic pain and progressive muscle deterioration, forcing her to quit work.

In an effort to help her daughter and others suffering from the fatal disease, Ms Dale’s mother Tania Whittaker-Wilson held an ice bucket challenge at Scarborough beach on the weekend.

With buckets and ice donated by local businesses, more than 20 people took part and raised money for the MND Association of WA. Ms Whittaker-Wilson said the day was a reminder of why the international phenomenon began, with her daughter the first on the day to have ice-cold water dumped on her.

‘I’m a mother losing my daughter and her siblings are going to lose their sister so thank God for the ice bucket challenge raising money to support people like Zoie,’ she said.

‘Zoie will end up in a wheelchair, she’ll lose all body functions and her bowels aren’t going to work.

‘She won’t be able to feed herself and her throat will eventually give up where she’ll have to be intravenously fed, she’ll more or less become a baby again.’

Despite knowing her fate, Ms Dale said she was determined to live her life as close to how she planned as possible.

‘ALS is just another hurdle, I don’t want it to change my life completely,’ she said.

‘I can’t work or do things but I’ve always wanted to be a mother and get married where my dad’s ashes were laid.

‘I know I’m going to die but we’ve all got time limits.

‘I’m not going to fight it until there’s a cure but I’m going to fight it until the last second that I can, it’s not going to stop me.’

To donate to Ms Dale’s ice bucket challenge, go to icebucketchallenge.everydayhero.com/au/zoie