Walk to d'Feet MND Hunter 2023 will be on at Speers Point Park on June 25, and Tony Houlcroft is gearing up for the event with the rest of his team made up of family and friends.

Tony was inspired to join the Walk last year by his wife Narelle who has PLS, a form of motor neurone disease, and is back again this year looking to help support others living with MND, their carers and families.

"We're happy to be involved, and are hoping to raise a few dollars for MND NSW and have a good day," Tony said.

"It's a bit like being a member of a club when you receive assistance from MND NSW, so it makes sense to get involved and help where you can."

Those 'few dollars' being raised are also a big part of Tony and Team N's efforts to assist MND NSW - already they have raised over $2,000, and are hoping to collect as many donations as they can.

"We set up our fundraising page and shared it through Facebook where we got some responses to the post about it, and we've also spoken with friends in our cycling group about it, my mate put it up on our cycling group Facebook page and got some donations," Tony said.

"We've also sent out some individualised emails to relatives with businesses, my daughter in law's business is now our 'platinum sponsor', and another relative who has a plastering firm was happy to help out too."

Tony has also approached his cycling group to organise a fundraising event to help raise money for their Walk team, and has even recruited some members for Team N from the cycling club who also had loved ones battle MND to join them at Walk to d'Feet MND Hunter.

"Our cycling group ride Wednesdays, and on Fridays we do different activities, so we organised to do the Tomaree Coastal Walk instead of a ride for one of our Friday activities, quite a few of my cycling mob will be going along, and myself and Sue from our team will wear our blue shirts and collect donations from the event," he said.

Team N is hoping to raise as much as he can for MND NSW, and Tony has been blown away by the generosity towards their Walk to d'Feet MND fundraising efforts, and care for his wife Narelle.

"We're just happy for friends and cycling mates to put in however they can, as the more money the better for MND NSW," Tony said.

"We make sure to send a thank you to everyone who donated – and every time people see me they ask how Narelle is. We've also received so many lovely messages of support on our fundraising page too." 

Team N

As well as raising much-needed funds for MND NSW to continue providing support to people living with MND and their families and carers, like Narelle and Tony, Walk to d'Feet MND Hunter is also a great way for everyone to get together for a very good cause.

"We have some really lovely team members. We have people from our cycling group and their family, school friends, and family, some who drive from Sydney, Central Coast, Lake Macquarie and further to meet up and do the Walk. It's a good chance for everyone to catch up, because due to the limitations of her MND, Narelle can only go out for a few hours in the wheelchair," Tony said.

"We're also hoping to involve people who would like to be involved but cant be, like my friend Steve, my son and daughter in law who will walk their rescue greyhound Peanuts at the same time we're completing the Hunter Walk, and my brother who is based in Maryborough who donated to us and will be there in spirit."

Tony is looking forward to Walk to d'Feet MND Hunter and catching up with others, including some Walk attendees he and his wife have met through MND NSW programs like Carers Kitchen Table Conversations and Support Group Meetings, with the 5km walk taking place along a wheelchair and stroller-friendly path at beautiful Speers Point Park.

"Its good for the participants, it’s a real boost for them – they feel connected and contributing to such a good cause, and can also have a bit of fun with it," Tony said.

If you'd like to join Walk to d'Feet MND Hunter, visit https://www.walktodfeet.org.au/hunter. To support Team N reach their fundraising goal, you can drop by their page here and make a donation.



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