Broken Hill’s Big Freeze

Megan Stewart, Eleanor Young and Fran Moore felt the chill of the Big Freeze. PICTURE: LIZ BREBNER

Broken Hill’s Coles staff, Megan Stewart, Eleanor Young and Fran Moore, braved the Big Freeze 8 ice bucket challenge to raise funds to fight Motor Neurone Disease (MND) on Friday morning.

“This year, our fundraising efforts have exceeded our target and all our expectations,” Coles Store Manager Fran Moore said.

The team at Coles have raised over $25,000 selling ‘Fight MND’ beanies, with the ice bucket challengers raising more than $1000 toward the cause.

There are more than 2000 people currently living with MND in Australia.

Every day, two people die from the disease, and another two more are diagnosed with MND.

The Coles team hopes their fundraising efforts will help researchers find a cure.

Ms Moore said she wanted to become involved in fundraising to fight MND after two people close to her died from the disease.

“It’s been an incredible effort from the team at Coles and everyone who has bought a beanie or donated to the cause,” she said.

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Her commitment was evident on Friday morning when Matthew Camilleri poured ice over her and first-time ice bucket challengers Megan Stewart and Eleanor Young.

Stew Brooks from the South Australian Coles Branch was in the crowd at the ice bucket challenge and said the local team’s fundraising is the second-highest in the region.

The team’s efforts continue over the weekend.

They are running a cake stall in the front of the store between 10am and 2pm today.

This is the third year the team at Coles have been fundraising.

They reached their target of $10,000 in 2020 and then raised a mammoth $19,000, part of the $6.78 million the supermarket raised nationally in 2021.

With the help of the Australian public, Fight MND has invested more than $55.9 million into research since 2014.

When AFL Legend Neale Daniher was first diagnosed with MND in mid-2013, his daughter Bec knew little about the disease except that there was no cure or treatment.

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“I was shocked to learn that the average life expectancy of a person living with MND is only 27 months,” Ms Daniher said.

MND Australia’s research for a cure has focussed on the five per cent of cases where the cause is a genetic mutation.

These cases are known as ‘familial MND’.

Researchers continue to look for a cause for the other 95 per cent of cases.

There are theories about what causes these 95 per cent of cases, however, researchers have found no substantive cause.

Researchers continue to investigate so they can focus on finding a cure.

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