WHEN one Strabane family decided to host their very own sponsored silence in aid of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) they never imagined the event would be a roaring success.
Over 100 people attended the event in the Bowling Green Bar recently which was organised by the O’Goan family to highlight the severe impact of MND.
Early last year Marian O’Goan was diagnosed with MND – a progressive disease which damages parts of the nervous system leading to severe muscle weakness. As a result of the condition Marian lost her voice and has had to adapt to communicating without speaking.
Those who took part in the sponsored silence had to try and refrain from talking for one whole hour and Marian’s daughter Patrice said the family are overwhelmed by the support they received.
“It was a fantastic night and over £1,000 was raised for the MND Association,” Patrice explained.
“The purpose of the event was to help people understand the severity of MND and also for us to realise the difficulties mummy faces on a daily basis.
“Well over 100 people took part in the sponsored silence which proved hard for some but was also a great laugh. Mummy loved it, although she did get a bit emotional when she realised how many people turned out for her.”
In the beginning the family intended to raise a humble £100 for the MND Association however they have already smashed that target with almost £1,300 raised to date.
“We never imagined our event would be such a success,” continued Patrice. “We are still waiting for the total amount, which we will know once we receive all the remaining sponsorship forms. But we have been blown away by the support from the entire community.”
Thanking everyone who made a donation and attended the event Patrice added, “Raising money was important but our main aim was to raise awareness about MND and more importantly to show mummy how much she means to us all.”
Building on their success Patrice and her family are now planning to host the event annually.
“It was such a terrific event which everyone thoroughly enjoyed and we would love to do something similar next year, possibly even bigger,” said Patrice. “I just want to thank everyone who supported the event and particularly all the local businesses who donated so generously, it really means a lot to us and to mummy.”