That’s What Friends Are For


In good times
In bad times

Just more than two years ago, in April 2012, I excitedly wrote about the desire of a few people to start a support group for MND patients in the Eastern Cape.

After a baptism of fire, the group had its first meeting at the Old Grey Club. I also wrote excitedly about my role of involvement in the establishment of that group and securing the venue for its meetings.

It was the birth of the Eastern Province Branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association of South Africa. Sr Gaynor Bishop was contracted by the MNDA to assist with the caring of local MND patients.

It is unfortunate that this relationship has now been terminated, and that Sr Gaynor and her ex-husband (as vice chairman and chairman respectively) have now formally announced the existence of “The Friends of Motor Neurone Disease”, a group that has operated quietly for more than a year now. My understanding is that this association has been created in order to ensure that funds generated in the Eastern Cape remains with local patients.

I’m convinced that discussions in this regard could have provided a better solution to this problem, if it did exist. We are heading to a position where we have almost as many fundraisers for MND in PE as we have patients! The cake, shared with so many other charities, can hardly be big enough.

It is ironic that the ice bucket challenge, which was supposed to assist the cause, has precipitated this chain of events. Hopefully, in the long run, it will not detract from the welfare of our MND patients. They suffer enough and do not need to become the football in the friendly game.

It reminds me of so many of our sporting codes where administrators bicker whilst the players just want to play the game!

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