November 14th, 2016
It is Daniher’s amazing work through the Cure for MND Foundation that prompted the City of Melbourne to award him its top honour. As the foundation’s patron and vice-chairman, the former Essendon champion and Melbourne coach has helped raise almost $12 million through events like Freeze at the G.
FOOTBALL legend Neale Daniher has vowed to keep fighting the “beast” that is killing him after receiving Melbourne’s top accolade.
Daniher, who has motor neurone disease, was last night named Melburnian of the Year in a gala Town Hall ceremony.
The prestigious award for his work fighting MND came as the former player and coach is preparing for a new phase in his battle against the debilitating illness.
Daniher’s home in Melbourne’s leafy eastern suburbs is being renovated in readiness for the day when he will no longer be able to walk.
“I’ll eventually become wheelchair-bound, eventually I’ll have to be lifted by hoist, all this within a two to three year time span,” he said.
“It’s very costly, it’s not an easy life, neither for the sufferer nor for the people who need to look after you.”
Daniher, 55, is not complaining about his condition, but merely pointing out the reality of what the 2000 Australians diagnosed with MND have to go through.
“We need to raise awareness of what motor neurone disease is, what it does and why we need funding to find a treatment and cure,” he said.
Daniher is strongly supported in his struggle by wife Jan, his children Lauren, Luke, Rebecca and Ben, and his ten brothers and sisters.
“Human beings are very adaptive, you adapt. I’m very fortunate to have my wife and my family who support me,” he said.
“They have great empathy for people with MND in society. They need great care and a lot of people haven’t got that care.”
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In conversation with Nicole Richards at the Philanthropy Meets Parliament Summit, Daniel Lee shared his insights on topics including the role of philanthropy as a driver of systems change which addresses root causes of social challenges, the relationship between philanthropy and government and what the new political environment in the United States means for philanthropy.