'I know I sound a bit drunk, but tea is the only thing I’ve been drinking'

'I know I sound a bit drunk, but tea is the only thing I’ve been drinking'

Limerick native Michael Clancy speaks out about Motor Neurone Disease to raise awareness for the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association (IMNDA).

There are currently over 360 people living with MND in Ireland. It is often referred to as the 1,000 day disease as most people die within 1,000 days of being diagnosed. One person dies every four days from the disease.

The 59-year-old is a staunch Munster Rugby supporter who has refereed many of the country’s top players down through the years.

Mr Clancy, a father and grandfather was recently diagnosed with MND, and is one of hundreds living with the illness across Ireland. Like other patients, he had initially tried to hide that his grip was failing before his deteriorating speech prompted him to seek help.

“My sisters were worried I was drinking as I had started to slur my words! It took months of tests but eventually I was told I have MND. I spent the next four days just driving around with tears down my face. I had no idea how me and my family were going to cope”, said Michael.

Motor Neurone Disease is a progressive neurological condition that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord. This means messages gradually stop reaching muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting. It can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. However, not all symptoms necessarily happen to everyone and it is unlikely they will all develop at the same time, or in any specific order.

Michael has decided to share his story about living with his terminal disease in the hope that greater awareness will raise vital funds for those living with this degenerative and debilitating condition.

“This disease has affected my hands so much soon I won’t be able to hold my precious little grandson. Soon he won’t be able to hear me speak,” said Michael.

The IMNDA provides specialised services for people affected by this debilitating disease such as equipment on loan, financial assistance towards home help, advice and home visits by MND Nurse. In order to provide these vital services the IMNDA depends heavily on the generosity of the public and supporters of the association who generate over 86% of its income.

'I know I sound a bit drunk, but tea is the only thing I’ve been drinking'

The Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association is the only organisation of its kind in this country. It was set up in May 1985 to provide care and support to people with Motor Neurone Disease, their carers, families and friends.

To help support Michael and the MND Awareness month, the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association wants people to Drink Tea for MND this June.

CEO Aisling Farrell said: “We are so grateful to all the people who host tea mornings every year, because they help provide vital funds that go straight towards helping Michael and all our other patients. So let’s all raise a cuppa and share the stories of over 360 families right across Ireland affected by this disease”.

To organise Drink Tea for MND event throughout the month of June, people are asked to email fundraising@imnda.ie or Freefone 1800 403 403 to receive their Supervalu sponsored Tea pack.

If you can’t organise a tea day, they can make a tea donation just Text MND to 50300 and donate €2. (Some network providers charge VAT, meaning a minimum of €1.63 will go to IMNDA. Service Provider LIKECHARITY 0766805278)

For more visit their website


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