Fine Gael TD to Fight on with Motor Neuron Disease (MND)

Fine Gael's Nicky McFadden, TD for Longford/Westmeath, has been diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease. Prof. Orla Hardiman made the diagnoses last Thursday. Nicky McFadden has said that she will continue to work as a Dail Deputy, she said "I’ve never surrendered in the face of any challenge, and I’m not going to surrender to this either. I have the full support of my Party and will have the practical help of my good friends and staff to assist me in continuing my work as a Dáil Deputy."

She had noticed that she had to slowdown her speech to avoid slurring her words. At present she has no other symptoms of this debilitating disease and she is committed to fighting and continuing with her life. She said "I was shocked and distressed when I was told but after a couple of days it was clear to me that this was something to be fought, and I’m a fighter." As far as she is concerned it is business as usual working for the people of Longford and Westmeath in Dáil Éireann. She has not experienced some of the usual initial symptoms of the disease rather it has be gradual, she said that just 3 weeks ago she had finish a ten mile walk with the ICA (Irish Country Women's Association).

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said "‘we have no doubt that Nicky will continue her work with her customary conviction and energy".

Motor Neuron Disease effects 300 people in Ireland at any one time. Following diagnosis the average life expectancy is 3 to 5 years, however the rate of progression varies greatly from person to person. 1 person is diagnosed with the disease every 4 days. The disease effects motor neurons. Motor neurons are the cells that control voluntary muscle activity. Suffers find difficulty in walking, talking and swallowing, however the mind and senses remain intact.

Rilutek (riluzole) is the first, and only, drug licensed to deal with Motor Neuron Disease. It increases life expectancy. Symptoms of the disease can be alleviated by medical professionals such as physiotherapist, occupational therapists, nurses, doctors, dieticians and speech therapist.

RTÉ sports commentator Colm Murray also suffers from the disease and Fair City's Joan Brosnan Walsh died of the disease in 2010. The disease is often referred to a Lou Gehrig's Disease after the famous Baseball player who also suffered from the disease.

The Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association (IMNDA) provide help to those suffering from the disease. They provide support for people with Motor Neuron Disease, as well as providing help to Family, Friends and carers.

IMNDA is part of Charity 25, the charity divides its fund raising equal among 25 charities. Text €2WILLDO to 57802 to donate. Or find out how to fund raise for IMNDA by clicking here.