EDITORIAL: Ice cold inspiration taps into warm hearts

DISNEY’S Frozen fans will know the scary enchanted snowman Marshmallow was all about being a menacing bodyguard for Queen Elsa in her self-inflicted isolation.

Australian sporting heroes got frozen to fight what AFL identity Neale Daniher calls The Beast, the degenerative motor neuron disease. But this monster battle was very much about bringing the whole nation along for the slide.

Ballarat’s Steve Moneghetti suited up Cathy Freeman-style for Fight MND in Big Freeze 3, the annual AFL pre-game ritual on the Queen’s Birthday putting celebrities on ice for the cause.

When Moneghetti took the plunge, Freeze tally was at $1.45 million. By late evening, the tally was $4.47 million and counting.

Australian generosity in this icy venture is really heart-warming. In a world where there are so many incredible causes, we still seem to dig deep when it matters most.

Often, it can be hard to relate to what someone might be battling until one we love is in those shoes but this is where the incredible courage of well-known figures, like Daniher, in publicly sharing their stories can have such a far-reaching impact. We feel we know them, even if only for their football skills as a coach and player.

Daniher told The Courier in March he felt he had to share his story and stage big events because you could not ask for support if you did not know what it was.

MND is the name given to a group of diseases in which the nerve cells controlling muscles that enable us to move, speak, swallow and breathe fail to work normally. At least two Australians are diagnosed with MND daily and every day at least two Australians die of MND.

Mr Daniher was diagnosed in 2013 and has since been on a mission to find a cure and to generate support for people living with MND across the nation.

His fight is inspiring, but he has also been determined to make it fun and to make a real difference.

True to his coaching background, Daniher rallied us and set the challenge: “When all is said and done, more is said than done. Nothing can be achieved with selfish people. What are you going to do?”

This was Daniher’s address to Melbourne footballers but, broadcast in pre-game coverage, it was a call to us all. And, by a few laughs at our own Moneghetti hopefully the message will be iced on our minds for more than one day.

Post Author: Loknath Das

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