Charity drive with extra bite

Darren Finch will swim with sharks to honour his late father and raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease. Picture: Emma Reeves d404923
Darren Finch will swim with sharks to honour his late father and raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease. Picture: Emma Reeves d404923

The daredevil will don a snorkel and attempt the September stunt at the Aquarium of WA 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.

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.

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 dollar for dollar.

‘I believe I can make a really big difference’