Just seen the story in the HS, interview with Tim Watson will be on 7 news tomorrow. I had an uncle that passed away with this disease and was so sad to see. His playing career was cut short, let hope he can fight a strong fight now.
I will never forget the day he destroyed the Scum in the last 5 minutes of the game. I was about 11 years old and in hospital recovering from a simple procedure for sinus issues. I was jumping up and down on the bed so much that i caused a massive nose bleed.
- PETER ROLFE SPORTS AFFAIRS
- HERALD SUN
- AUGUST 17, 2014 11:06PM
Neale Daniher has spoken of his shocking diagnosis.
FOOTY legend Neale Daniher has revealed his battle with deadly motor neurone disease and plans to dedicate what remains of his life educating the public about the condition.
The former Essendon champion and Melbourne coach has vowed to tackle the cruel and Âincurable disease with the same courage and determination that defined his football career.
Speaking publicly for the first time to friend and Âformer Bombers teammate Tim Watson in an interview to air on Seven News on Monday night, Daniher delivered a blunt Âassessment of the disease Âslowly killing him.
â€œThere‘s no prevention. No treatment. No cure,‘‘ he said.
Daniher, 53, first recognised a problem when he had trouble hanging washing on the line and was diagnosed last year after nine months of tests.
â€œI thought, well I‘ve got a weakness in my hands and I‘ll fix it,‘‘ he said in the Channel 7 interview.
Daniher during his time as Melbourne coach.
â€œModern science. A few Âinjections. A few tablets. Nothing serious. I‘ll be back putting clothes on the line again.â€
But his life was turned Âupside down when told he had a disease that leads to a slow, gradual death.
â€œI didn‘t know a lot about it, but I knew you didn‘t want to get it,‘‘ he said.
Daniher announced last September he would stand down as West Coast Eagles football operations boss due to health reasons but has until now kept his condition private.
He will quit football and move his family back to ÂMelbourne to start work on a public campaign to raise awareness of the disease, Ârecruiting AFL stars to help spread the message.
Essendon's Daniher brothers Tony, Terry, Neale and Chris Daniher in a game against St Kilda in 1990.
â€œA tragedy of the disease is you‘re a witness to your body dying,‘‘ he said.
â€œBut every 12 hours someone gets MND in Australia, and every 12 hours someone dies. It‘s an anonymous killer. Not many people know about it.â€
Daniher, who coached Melbourne to the 2000 AFL Grand Final and played 82 games for Essendon in a career cut short by injury, will also focus on fundraising for research.
â€œWe need to find some treatment, prevention and a cure,‘‘ he said.
About two Australians die a day from the disease, which progressively robs sufferers of the use of arms, legs and ability to speak, swallow and breathe but normally does not affect their mind and senses.
Daniher has started slurring his words and has difficulty with his hands but is still physically active and said a positive approach was essential.
â€œYou don‘t cope by fear. You just day-by-day exist,‘‘ he said. â€œYou just get on with life and enjoy life and there‘s a lot to enjoy.
â€œAnd you don‘t cope by thinking where this will end up? There‘s no fun in that. You don‘t get many laughs in that.â€
The average life expectancy after diagnosis is 27 months but, in true fighting spirit, ÂDaniher said he would play the game on his own terms.
â€œIt‘s important that people who‘ve heard the diagnosis know that, on average, it‘s two to four years to live but I might bump that up a little bit,‘‘ he said.