THE family of the late Steve Regal, who died after a long battle with motor neurone disease (MND), have been buoyed by the incredible support they are receiving, as they get ready to embark on their second Walk to D-feet MND on Sunday, March 2, at Bulli Surf Club.
MND is the name given to a group of diseases in which motor neurones progressively die.
Motor neurones are nerve cells that control the movement of voluntary muscles, that is, muscles that are under conscious control.
These include all the muscles of the arms, legs, back and neck and of speech, swallowing and breathing.
With no nerves to activate them, muscles gradually weaken and waste and paralysis ensues. Weakness is often seen first in the hands or feet, or the first sign may be difficulty swallowing or slurred speech. Muscle twitching and/or cramps may also occur.
In most cases the senses are not affected. MND affects each person differently in respect of initial symptoms, rate and pattern of progression.
Adam Regal said the disease had taken a terrible toll on his family, with his uncle Garry and father Steve both succumbing in the space of 10 years.
"Last year my sister Amy decided to try and raise some funds to help with research, with scientists seemingly struggling to make many breakthroughs.
"The whole family took part in the Walk to D-feet MND and between us we raised around $7500.
"So this year I decided to take on the challenge and registered on the site and put my target at $700, but it soon became obvious that people wanted to give and my wife Kylie suggested we raise the target to $3000.
"We have been absolutely blown away by people's generosity and as of the middle of last week had already passed $8000 and were growing daily.
"With a couple of weeks remaining who knows where it will finish, but we also want to encourage people to not only donate to the cause, but also put on their walking shoes and join us on the walk.
"It's an easy 5km walk and is wheelchair and dog friendly."
To support Adam visit walkillawarra-2014.everydayhero.com/au/adam.