Ice bucket hits region

OUR TURN: Katrina Jeffery pours a bucket of ice water over her head as part of an international challenge to raise awareness for motor neurone disease. The challenge has gone viral across social networks.
OUR TURN: Katrina Jeffery pours a bucket of ice water over her head as part of an international challenge to raise awareness for motor neurone disease. The challenge has gone viral across social networks. Marc Stapelberg

THE ICE Bucket Challenge, a worldwide phenomenon to raise money and awareness for motor neurone disease, has come to the Northern Rivers.

Katrina Jeffery, whose husband Chris died of the disease earlier this year, has started the ball rolling and challenged her seven children and all 11 Lismore councillors to take part.

The challenge began in the US about a month ago where motor neurone disease is known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Thousands of people and an ever-growing number of celebrities have taken part, with the fundraising figure sitting at around $22 million and growing rapidly.

The idea is that when you have dumped a bucket of ice water on yourself, you nominate others to do the same. If those people decline, they pay $100 towards the charity. If they accept they pay $10 and nominate others to do the same.

Katrina said it had been an incredibly successful campaign in bringing awareness to the disease.

"I would love to see millions raised in Australia and hopefully I've just kick-started the far north coast for being the leading area for raising money and awareness in Australia," she said.

Katrina said it was incredibly difficult watching her husband waste away, but she was eternally grateful for the support she got from MND NSW.

"MND NSW lent us around $80,000 worth of equipment while Chris was ill. We would have had no quality of life without that equipment. That was hospital beds, electric wheelchairs and electric hoists to move him around. The service they provide is just phenomenal."

Katrina said Chris first started having trouble swallowing fluids and slurring his words. It took another nine months to get a diagnosis of motor neurone disease. He died 11 months later.

"What the disease does, all the nerves that make your muscles work begin to die. As they die, all the muscles waste away. So the person literally just wastes away in front of you. With no treatment and no cure, you have no choice but to do what you can to help them, but to watch them die."

Four other people took the challenge at Katrina's place yesterday, including Lismore councillor Ray Houston. He then challenged council general manager Garry Murphy and council staff.

One of Katrina's children, Sandy, has challenged her boss Andrew Gordon, who has put the challenge to our local members Kevin Hogan and Thomas George.

To donate to Katrina's mycause project click here.


What is MND?

Motor neurone disease is the name given to a group of diseases in which the nerve cells (neurones) controlling the muscles that enable us to move, speak, breathe and swallow, undergo degeneration and die.

Topics:  ice bucket challenge, motor neurone disease

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'All I heard when my baby cried was ‘you’re a terrible mum'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Katie Dykes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

KATIE'S battle with PND is not unlike many mothers.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Where and when to vote in the federal election

federal election voting booth

Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate

Comprehensive list of polling booths in Richmond and Page

What electorate are you in? The boundaries have changed

Polling booth at Casino Civic Hall.
Photo The Northern Star Archives

You may even be in a different electorate to your neighbour

Byron Bay Brewery closed for refurbishment

ENTERTAINMENT: The Byron Brewery hosts regular live music shows like Byron Vibes.

The work will take two and a half months

Latest deals and offers

Animal Justice Party

Animal Justice Party candidate for Page Anna Ludvik makes her pitch to voters

Kevin Hogan's pitch

Page MP Kevin Hogan's final pitch to voters

Kudra Falla-Ricketts pitch for Page

Kudra Falla-Ricketts' final pitch to Page voters

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

DIY: How to build a backyard fire pit

DIY stars and Weekend magazine columnists Ayden and Jess Hogan.

Would you build this for your backyard?