Lily Chen is this year’s Drink Tea for MND Ambassador. Diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) three years ago, she lives in Termonfeckin in Co Louth with her family where she runs her tea business, Lily’s Tea.
Lily Chen’s first encounter with MND was over 30 years previous, when as a teenager, she read about Prof Stephen Hawking’s “weird” disease. She thought that it was so rare that it must only happen to geniuses like him. In 2016, she noticed her left arm could not lift the cooking pot. Later, she noted her voice slurring and occasionally when out running she stumbled and fell a few times.
“All the natural abilities I took for granted such as swallowing, speech and mobility started weakening, like an invisible hand that is turning down my power,” said Lily.
There are more than 400 people living with MND in Ireland, and every 3 days we lose another person to this debilitating disease. Lily shares her story about life with MND in the hope that greater awareness will generate increased support for those living with this degenerative and debilitating condition.
Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a progressive neurological condition that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord. This means messages gradually stop reaching muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting. MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe.
However, not all symptoms necessarily happen to everyone, and it is unlikely they will all develop at the same time, or in any specific order.
“Communication is getting difficult; I miss Irish banter. Small things like giving away all my high heel shoes are heart-breaking”, said Lily.
It’s such an unforgivable disease. But your support for Drink Tea for MND will help people like Lily get the simple life changing supports they need. It will provide specialised beds, wheelchairs, and for people like Lily who love the ‘Irish banter’, communication aids when MND takes their voice away.
“So here I am, raising the teacup with a small bit of hope and loads of love. Let’s all Drink Tea for MND,” said Lily.
So please, join Lily and all of us – any day during March – in raising a teacup in support of everyone impacted by MND. It couldn’t be easier to host your own Drink Tea event, you can even do all your fundraising online – just visit imnda.ie for more.
If you can’t organise a tea day, why not make a tea donation, just text MND to 50300 and donate €2. The power of your support also funds our 6 wonderful MND nurses who visit our families in their homes providing expert care and advice. In fact, over 85% of our services are funded by events like Drink Tea for MND, now that is a strong brew!
Please join us this March – helping others is everyone’s cup of tea! See www.imnda.ie for more.