The extended Sharks ‘family’ have been affected in recent years, with two former players losing their brave fight against the disease, which explained their choice of headwear at a training session early on Thursday morning.
While the temperature was somewhat chilly it wasn’t exactly a ‘Big Freeze’, with the reason for the NRL squad donning the special blue beanie to support the FightMND campaign, an initiative which aims to raise funds to invest in research to find effective treatments, and ultimately a cure for Motor Neurone Disease.
Sadly, the Sharks lost two of their former players from the 1990’s, Paul Fisher and Adam Maher to MND, with the pair passing away in the early months of 2020.
Fisher was just 51, Maher 47 at the time of their passing.
Hence the Sharks continued support of the FightMND campaign, with Co-founder and Patron Neale Daniher, a prominent former AFL player and coach, launching the seventh version of the famous blue beanie, emblazoned with his ‘Play On’ mantra.
When Daniher was first diagnosed with MND he sent a message to his family and friends, telling them he had MND and planned to fight back. That message ended with ‘Play On’.
The Beanies are now on sale across the country, raising funds in the fight against MND.
Beanies available at local Coles, Coles Express or Bunnings stores - or by going to the FightMND website www.fightmnd.org.au.
Adult beanies are just $20, while introduced this year is a limited release of kids under 5yo beanies – on sale online for $17.50 each.
The V.I.B. (Very Important Beanie) is all about emphasising what the Big Freeze beanies actually represent. They are more than something to keep heads warm, rather they are a crucial contributor to raising funds to find treatment, and one day a cure for Motor Neurone Disease. Everyone who buys a beanie is making a tangible difference.
FightMND was founded in 2014 after Daniher was diagnosed 2013, with nearly $50M invested in research initiatives in the years since. Big Freeze6 last year, despite the COVID disruptions on sporting events such as the AFL and NRL, raised $11.9m.
There is currently no effective treatments or cure for MND.