How to get involved in this year’s Big Freeze to fight MND

AFL legend Neale Daniher has been bravely fighting ‘The Beast’ for six years. His annual icy fundraiser is a big part of that battle – and it will look a little different this year.

When he was diagnosed with MND in 2014, footy great Neale Daniher vowed to do everything he could to help find a cure for the terminal disease.

He founded charity FightMND, which has raised millions towards treatments and research into the debilitating disease dubbed “The Beast”.

Motor neurone disease gradually takes away a person’s ability to move their arms and legs, swallow, speak, and eventually breathe, usually in a little over two years.

Six years into his fight, 59-year-old Neale can still use his hands and walk, but has lost most of his upper strength and his movements are restricted.

“Dad’s physical condition might be changing, but his attitude and fighting spirit throughout everything remains unwavering,” says daughter and FightMND campaign director Bec Daniher.

And Neale is as determined as ever to continue battling The Beast through FightMND’s major fundraiser, the Big Freeze – even though it will look a little different this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

When and where is Big Freeze 6?

Traditionally the Big Freeze takes place before the Queen’s Birthday match between Melbourne and Collingwood.

While the 2020 AFL season is yet to resume, Big Freeze 6 will still take place on Monday, June 8.

And there won’t be a big crowd to cheer them, but AFL stars will again take an icy dip at the MCG for the event.

A player from each of the 18 AFL clubs will slide into an ice bath as part of a live telecast, which will air nationally on Channel 7.

How to support Big Freeze 6 and #FilltheG

Though fans can’t physically attend the MCG for Big Freeze 6, FightMND hopes to #FillTheG with Australia’s biggest-ever virtual crowd.

To get involved:

  • Buy a Big Freeze 6 beanie online or from Coles or Bunnings for $20.
  • Take a photo of yourself in your Big Freeze 6 beanie.
  • Upload to social media with #FillTheG and @fightmnd, and tag three friends to “join” you at the MCG.

“The event means so much to our family,” says Bec. “Obviously this year has brought about different challenges so we’ve had to improvise, but we’re really excited about the Big Freeze 6 and appreciate the community’s support immensely.

“Buying a FightMND beanie really helps our cause and serves as a badge of support in the community, which we really appreciate.”

You can also host your own DIY Community Big Freeze fundraiser, or join one near you.

Other ways to help FightMND

You can also show your support for efforts to banish motor neurone disease by organising a small fundraiser through FightMND’s fundraiser hub.

Or join the FightMND army through workplace giving,  volunteering or donating, which will go directly towards efforts to combat the horrible neurodegenerative disease.

Written by Charlotte Brundrett.