By Gabriella Payne
A sweeping sea of blue ebbed around Pakenham’s Lakeside track on Sunday morning, as people from across Cardinia came together to “Walk to D’feet MND” and raise much needed funds into Motor Neuron Disease (MND) research.
Hundreds of people gathered together on Sunday 2 May, with people of all abilities making their way around the lake and enjoying the live music and BBQ on offer afterwards.
Joanne Staindl, her sister Sonya Boloski and son Gavin Staindl all proudly walked in Sunday’s event, representing their late brother/ uncle, Gavin, who sadly passed away from MND only last year.
“Our family has been strongly touched by motor neuron disease,” Ms Staindl said.
“My father passed away in 1992 of Motor Neuron, he survived just eight and a half months from diagnosis to death, and then my brother was diagnosed and passed away at the age of 59.”
Ms Staindl said it had been great to see so many people wrapping around Pakenham’s Lakeside path as they made their way around the lake on the weekend.
“None of us want people to keep getting Motor Neuron, so it’s about raising awareness and continuing to support Motor Neuron Victoria,” she said.
Daniel Woodrow, a spokesperson for MND Victoria said that it had been fantastic to see so many people in attendance at the walk, especially after the event was cancelled last year due to Covid.
“The second South East Melbourne ‘Walk to D’Feet MND’ was another incredible success,” Mr Woodrow said.
“The walk attracts many locals and visitors from afar who have been impacted by motor neurone disease in one way or another.”
Mr Woodrow said that Sunday 2 May had marked the beginning of MND awareness week and the Lakeside event was one of a number of walks that had been held across the country, in an effort to help fund a cure for the debilitating disease.
He wanted to especially thank all those who came along on the weekend for their continued support and generosity.
“MND Victoria have been providing care, support and vital assistive equipment to all Victorian’s living with this horrible disease for 40 years,” he said.
“The Association relies on the generosity of supporters through events like this to raise over $2.5 million each year to ensure those living with MND can live as well as possible for as long as possible with the support MND Victoria provides.”