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For Jo

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

MND is a cruel and indiscriminate disease. It is caused by the breakdown of the neurons in the brain that transmit messages to parts of the body and control movement and speech. There is not a great deal understood about what causes MND and there is no cure. It is often hereditary, but not always. Most people who are diagnosed with MND live only 2 or 3 years, some can live much longer but all experience a devastating decline of physical capacity. It is a heartbreaking, relentless and indiscriminate disease for those who are diagnosed with it.

Our dear friend Jo suffers from MND and during her own struggle continues to advocate strongly and courageously so that more is understood, and more is done for sufferers of this rare and cruel disease. Jo has an army of admirers who look to her as a guiding light of strength and courage. It is so often in the truly hardest of times that we see the worth and courage of humanity.

Recently, a beautiful dinner party was held for Jo and for MND awareness, a night of heartfelt fellowship and love.

Hosts Brendan & Brendon and Amanda wanted to share some love and lift Jo's spirits by bringing together friends to the table to eat and laugh and rejoice at what there is to be thankful for. It was a night of creating beautiful memories together.

The menu was a shared affair with contributions from Marissa, Kev and Amanda. There was also a surprise quest performance by Luke Kennedy from The Little Red Company, adding some extra special magic to the evening. It was wonderful to see the look of wonder and joy on Jo's face as Luke sang so beautifully to her.

We all can feel life's challenges at times, that we deserve more and that we should be luckier. It is a good reminder, as Brendan so poignantly noted when thanking guests for coming to the dinner, "When I feel I am having a bad day I think of Jo and realise my bad day is nothing compared to the day that Jo faces each and every day". We all are guilty of looking in the wrong place to find gratitude and we are often not thankful enough for the small things we have, taking for granted the importance of health and good friends, as we look for greater signs of worth.

It really is all stripped away when faced with a death sentence of a disease like MND. At that point we need to dig deep and face the real worth of each and every moment that we are blessed with life. Nights such as these are poignant reminders to appreciate the small things and be thankful for our loved ones and our health, we are all on borrowed time at the end of the day.

It was my dearest wish, in starting My Giving Table, that nights like this, full of love and care, community and compassion would be the result. Where kindness, heart and giving, not just money, were the currency of the event.

This night raised nearly $2000 for Jo and MND awareness but also raised spirits of all including Jo, which is a much higher and immeasurable value.

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