Raising awareness of terminal disease

22:51, Jun 19 2014
tony gilchrist
COLLECTING: Tony Gilchrist and wife Barbara will be raising awareness of and money for the treatment of motor neurone disease - something Tony was diagnosed with six years ago.

A Timaru man with motor neurone disease is still taking time to raise awareness of the terminal illness.

Tony Gilchrist was diagnosed with the disease six years ago and will be out and about on Stafford St today and tomorrow, raising both funds and awareness.

Tomorrow is International Motor Neurone Disease Awareness Day and the funds raised by Gilchrist will go towards the Motor Neurone Disease Association NZ.

The association ensures the continuation of the "very valuable" fieldworker service, which supports people with the disease and those who care for them, Gilchrist's wife, Barbara, said.

Motor neurone disease is a terminal neurological condition in which the nerve cells that control muscles and movement are destroyed. Without stimulation from these nerves, the muscles weaken and waste away.

At any one time in New Zealand there are 300 people who have been diagnosed with the disease.

Most people diagnosed are given between two and five years to live, Barbara Gilchrist said. She said her husband has lived a long time compared with other sufferers, longer than they expected him to.

Money raised will also go towards research as there is currently no recognised cause, and no cure.


The Timaru Herald