Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Gobal Ice Bucket Challenge helps change lives

Gobal Ice Bucket Challenge helps change the lives of kiwis living with MND

The global social media phenomenon, the Ice Bucket Challenge, has bought in much needed funds for kiwis living with MND and raised unprecedented awareness of the fatal disease says Beth Watson, President of the Motor Neurone Disease Association of New Zealand.

The challenge, known overseas as the ALS[1] Ice Bucket Challenge, sees participants have a bucket of ice water tipped on their head to promote awareness of motor neurone disease (MND) and encourage donations to MND. Beth was an early participant in New Zealand after being challenged by Carol Birks, the President of the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations.

The challenge has raised at least £1 million (NZ$1.9 million) in the United Kingdom and US$88 million (NZ$105 million) for ALS in the United States where the challenge originated.

In New Zealand, National Manager of the Motor Neurone Disease Association Grant Diggle says it has generated huge interest from the public since it went viral during July and August this year, including around $15,000 in donations when MND NZ usually receives around $2,000 on average, a month.

One person who will undertake the challenge this Saturday is 40-year-old doctor, Claire Reilly from Geraldine, who is living with MND.

“When I was training to be a doctor at Otago this was the disease we all feared the most. That’s because it’s like slowly watching your body die. You’re still the same person you’ve always been but now you’re locked in a body that won’t listen,” says Claire.

“This year about 100 people will die from MND and another 100 will be diagnosed. It doesn’t discriminate and most of those diagnosed will die within two to five years.

“I’m hoping that by tipping a bucket of water over my head that I can do something about this dreadful illness,” says Claire.

The association thanks Claire and other New Zealanders who have undertaken the challenge or supported those who have.

“We are really humbled by Claire’s efforts. As if having MND isn’t challenging enough,” Grant says.

“We’d like to thank everyone who has rallied around the cause and supported people living with MND in New Zealand – we welcome any donation big or small. The funds will be used to help people with MND in New Zealand get the right help at the right time. Funding our fieldworkers is an ongoing challenge for us.

“While the amount of money and awareness raised here is small by global standards, it is significant for the near 300 people in New Zealand currently living with MND and will certainly help the Association to support them as they battle with this illness,” says Grant.

“And the massive amount of money raised globally is certainly good news for kiwis with MND if it helps to fund an eventual treatment,” he says.

If you would like to take the challenge you can find more information at If you’d prefer to stay warm and dry you can still get involved and support MND by making a valuable donation online:


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news