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Thursday, 28th January 2021

Speak up for Motor Neurone by keeping quiet

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Madeline O’Connor showing her support for the IMNDA February Sponsored Silence #Voice4MND.

Could you remain silent in the company of loved ones, for an hour? Even half an hour? That’s what the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA) wants people to do to raise awareness of the disease and funds to provide care and support to people afflicted by it.

Of course, sometimes silence speaks volumes but if it is forced on you it’s a totally different matter. Imagine not being able to say ‘I love you’ this Valentine’s Day.

Unfortunately that is the fate met by most people living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). More than 80% of them will experience some form of speech difficulty during their illness – some will lose their voice completely.

This February the IMNDA are once again running our sponsored silence campaign #Voice4MND. All we ask is that you stay silent for a minimum of 30 minutes so you can experience what it would be like to lose your voice.

“Imagine one hour, imagine one day, imagine one week without your voice. We want you to give up your voice so you can experience what it is like for someone with MND” said Maeve Leahy of the IMNDA.

“All you have to do is to pick a day and duration for your silence. Then maybe think if you had no voice for a day how would you communicate – by app, by pen and paper?

“To sign up for our Sponsored Silence just visit our website   and fill out the online registration form. It’s that simple! Spread awareness by sharing your sponsored silence on social media by using #Voice4MND. Nominate friends and families to join you.”

You can also donate to the campaign by texting MND to 50300 to donate €2 (100% of text goes to IMNDA across most network providers. Some providers apply VAT which means a minimum of €1.63 will go to IMNDA. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline 076 6805278).

“What I miss most about losing my voice is being able to have chats with my daughter and conversations with friends,” said Madeline O’Connor who has been living with MND since April 2020.

“It is difficult to go out into the community when people don’t understand that I require a little more patience” she added.

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