This woman with MND can’t tell her family she loves them on Valentine’s Day

Imagine not being able to say “I love you” this Valentine’s Day. That’s the experience of most people with motor neurone disease (MND), among them Emma Fitzpatrick, a mother-of-two from Kinsale, Co Cork.

This woman with MND can’t tell her family she loves them on Valentine’s Day

Emma was diagnosed in 2010 and can no longer walk or speak and communicates mainly with the use of an eye-controlled computer.

“This most cruel disease has taken with it the use of my upper and lower limbs. It has also taken my voice,” writes Emma, who met her husband Jonnie on the eve of Valentine’s Day 16 years ago.

This year she will not be able to say “I love you” to him or her children, Kitty, 10, and Rowan, 7.

For the rest of this month, the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association is asking the public to share Emma’s everyday experience and, at the same time, to help raise funds to fight the condition.

“We’re asking you to take on a sponsored silence to experience what it would be like to not be able to speak,” said a spokesperson for the IMNDA.

“Stay silent for 30 minutes at work, school or even at home alone... Share your last words with us on Facebook and twitter (@IMNDA) by using #Voice4MND.”

Email @imnda.ie for sponsorship cards or text MND to 50300 to donate €2.

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