So I’ve been challenged. Seamus Byrne from CNet nominated me to take on the Ice Bucket Challenge, to raise money and awareness for the crippling Motor Neurone Disease. Some might think it’s all a gee up, some say it’s gone on too long. I don’t care – It’s a good cause, and I’ll tell you why.
In 2008, I was working as the Executive Producer of Sport and Special Events at Radio 2GB. We’d had this idea to take the weekend “Continuous Call Team” to a rural town called Neville – because it was called Neville.
I called around the town. One name kept coming up. Ted Wilson. He was the Blaney Shire Mayor, and a Neville resident. He had built an attraction called the Neville Siding, and it had a huge shed – perfect for our outside broadcast.
Chris Bowen and I drove up to Neville in March of 2008 to check out the site and meet Ted. That was when we were told that in September of 2007 Ted had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. It had already started to dramatically effect Ted’s quality of life, he was now in a wheelchair and requiring assistance for things that as a strong independent man – he had always taken for granted. Bloody hell though – he was a fighter, and was staying positive.
Our broadcast was planned for June, tragically, Ted lost his battle with MND on May 9. We held the broadcast in his honor, and it was a great day.
The Ice Bucket Challenge has reminded me of the tragedy of this disease, and frankly, anything we can do to raise awareness and funds to fight this thing.
So, thanks Seamus. Challenge accepted. Ive donated $100 to the NSW MND Association, that’s the least I could do – but, rather than donate and ignore the challenge, my kids wanted the chance to cover dad in ice cold water – so, we did.
In turn, I’ve challenge Kate Burleigh from Intel, Ruslan Kogan from Kogan and my good mate Greg Rust from Channel Ten.