A LOCAL nurse is calling on members of the public to take part in a silence challenge in a bid to raise money for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA).
Louise Hennessy from Haggardstown has been working as a nurse for the IMNDA since April 2019. She covers Louth, Meath and Dublin for the charity.
“There are four people with Motor Neurone Disease in Dundalk and 13 in Louth. It’s a progressive neurological condition,” she said.
“Most people have a three-to-five year life expectancy from the time of diagnosis. It’s a very individual disease. Some people might notice they are tripping or their speech might be a bit slurred.
“Most people go to their doctor or to a physio and they get tests and undergo investigations. It might take an average of 18 months to get a diagnosis because it is such a rare condition.”
Louise added: “It’s a horrible disease and can be relentless. People can lose the ability to walk, talk and swallow. It involves a lot of high care and can be stressful for families.
“I do home visits as part of my job and make sure that people are linked in with various services and try to make sure they have specialised equipment such as motorised wheelchairs.
“Our ability to fundraise has really been affected by the impact of Covid so we hope people will support this initiative,” explained Louise.
This February the IMNDA are once again running their sponsored silence campaign #Voice4MND. They are asking you to stay silent for a minimum of 30 minutes so you can experience what it would be like to lose your voice.
“Imagine one hour, imagine one day, imagine one week without your voice. We want you to give up your voice so you can experience what it is like for someone with MND.
All you have to do is to pick a day and duration for your silence. Then maybe think if you had no voice for a day how would you communicate – by app, by pen and paper?
To sign up for our Sponsored Silence just visit our website www.imnda.ie and fill out the online registration form. It’s that simple! Spread awareness by sharing your sponsored silence on social media by using #Voice4MND. Nominate friends and families to join you.
You can also donate to the campaign by texting MND to 50300 to donate €2 (100% of text goes to IMNDA across most network providers. Some providers apply VAT which means a minimum of €1.63 will go to IMNDA. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline 076 6805278).