Oberon firefighters step it up for Motor Neurone Disease

BEST FOOT FORWARD: Keven Verhoeven from Oberon Fire and Rescue at a recent fundraising barbecue in the main street of Oberon to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease.
BEST FOOT FORWARD: Keven Verhoeven from Oberon Fire and Rescue at a recent fundraising barbecue in the main street of Oberon to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease.

Firefighters Keven Verhoeven and Colleen Walker from Oberon Fire and Rescue are preparing to climb a staggering 1504 stairs in the Sydney Tower Eye this weekend in an effort to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) research.

They will join firefighters from across Australia, and the world, who will be wearing their  full firefighting gear weighing 20kg, as they climb 98 floors of Sydney Tower Eye on Saturday.

Now in its third year, the event is organised by firefighters from Fire & Rescue and has raised more than $1,000,000.

Partnering with Macquarie University, the firefighters hope to raise $1,000,000 which will go towards beating this devastating disease.

Professor Dominic Rowe of Macquarie University’s MND Research Clinic said that finding a cure for MND is just about money. 

“We have two new clinical trials that started this year. This is the first time we have had two trials in one year ever in Motor Neurone disease. We can do this because of our fundraising from last year,” Professor Rowe said.

MND patient and the inspiration behind the event, Adam Regal, said he was overwhelmed and deeply honoured by the event.

“Other MND sufferers and I firmly believe that what the firies are doing is a game changer – we are all hopeful for a breakthrough soon,” he said.

“Each day, two Australians die from MND and another two are diagnosed with it. Ninety per cent of patients die within three to five years of first experiencing symptoms. The disease currently has no known cause or cure so research is urgently needed to help find some answers.”

Last year, FRNSW firefighters raised more than $500,000 to help continue that research.

“This  year, the event has grown even more and firefighters are coming from everywhere to help. We are very excited about taking part in the challenge,” Mr Regal said.

You can support this worthy cause by donating to http://www.firiesclimbformnd.org.au/ and search for ‘team 411’.

Every dollar raised will directly support vital MND research. You can also stay up to date via the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/firiescllimbformnd/