MOUNT Gambier resident Lisa Fyfe recalled how her mother spent her final days communicating through blinking with little ability to move.
Braving the icy plunge at Tenison Woods College’s Fight MND Big Freeze event yesterday, Ms Fyfe said the fundraiser held a special place in her heart after her mother passed away from a similar disease around a decade ago.
Ms Fyfe was one of several Limestone Coast identities to participate in the inaugural college fundraiser, helping to raise around $6000 for the Fight MND foundation.
Yesterday’s event – based on the popular Big Freeze at the G event – said it was the first year she had been involved in MND fundraising.
“What my mum experienced was absolutely horrific,” she said.
“Although they did not know what to diagnose her with, whenever I see anybody with the disease it is exactly the same as what she went through.
“She passed away at the age of 46 and lost the ability to function, but when she could talk she said she would never wish it upon her worst enemy.”
In the wake of her personal experience, Ms Fyfe said she was pleased to see voluntary euthanasia legislation being discussed across the nation.
“If there was the option I think my mum would have went for it,” Ms Fyfe said.
“It can be such a slow process. Sometimes when I went into her hospital room, she was unable to turn the television on because her muscles were seized.
“It is an incredibly awful disease which has no exact cure, cause or treatment.”
Ms Fyfe said it was the perfect opportunity to become involved when the college approached her to participate.
“I have always donated to the cause but I just thought I was in the perfect position to fundraise and raise awareness,” she said.
“It was great to see the kids involved too, raising awareness there are things out there which cause harm but as a community we can do something special.
“I commend Brad (Maney) and the team because it was such a fun event to be part of it.”
While the plunge was a “shock to the system”, Ms Fyfe believes it helped during the day.
“I have done quite a few ice baths in my time with my sporting and recovery,” she said.
“We are in the middle of winter, it was held outdoors and I am pretty sure they added more ice just before I jumped in so it was definitely cold.
“I do think it woke me up though as I am feeling rather energetic today.”
Owner of Mount Gambier’s F45 gym, Ms Fyfe recently hosted a 24-hour sled push challenge which raised around $3000 for the Fight MND foundation through donations and late class cancellation fees.
“It was amazing to see the community put in the effort while still having fun,” she said.
“We had around 100 people to keep the sled moving the whole 24 hours even during the early hours.
“It seemed crazy there were people which helped push a sled, at the gym, during winter at 2.30am, 3.30am and 4.30am on a weekend morning.”
Ms Fyfe said the studio would look to host a similar event every year to continue raising funds.