Please contact the relevant team advisor below.
Dr Claire Reilly
MND New Zealand Support Team provides free, personalised support and advocacy for almost every person with motor neurone disease in New Zealand, from Stewart Island to Northland. They work together with people living with MND, and their families, to enable them to have the best quality of life possible.
If you are not sure which support team advisor to contact, or have a general MND support question, please contact Toni Foster.
I am a keen trail runner and multi-sporter, having completed the Captain Cooks Challenge on the Queen Charlotte Track. I am married with three adult children and a daughter-in-law. My husband and I live in Greytown and I commute daily to Wellington.
My history with MND is that my father passed away as a result of MND in 1999. I’m keen to give something back to my community and I feel MND is a good fit.
My introduction to Motor Neurone Disease began 7 years ago, when Dr. Claire Reilly contacted me about marketing and branding support for the Association. It goes without saying that I was eager to help in any way I could. I developed marketing campaigns to promote brand awareness across the annual national walk and MND awareness month for the first five years before joining the council in 2019.
Over the course of my career, I have primarily worked in sales and marketing roles for large multinational companies. These days, I am a principal consultant for my own marketing and consulting business, Hound + Steed Strategic Marketing & Consulting, where I work with clients predominantly in Australia.
I have been privileged to care for people with motor neurone disease throughout my career. I have always admired the brave and positive manner in which the majority of people manage to face the condition, however I am also aware of the intense support that they need to help them do this.
Organisations such as MND New Zealand play an extremely important role in providing, coordinating, and advocating for this support at a practical and legislative level.
Our family spent time learning about the disease and trying to figure out ways to help, and as result, started attending Walk 2 D’Feet MND events. We have also followed the Facebook page for some time, and have been impressed by the sense of community that MND New Zealand has created.
My background is in digital media. Until recently, I ran the digital division of Bauer Media, but I have just launched two digital marketing platforms (including a fundraising platform called Rewardhub).
I’m keen to use my digital skills to help the organisation engage people online, where it’s important to keep learning to remain relevant. I’m also a creative and innovative person that likes trying to solve problems in new ways.
Chris’ research and training in microbiology and immunology at Otago University led to a close and continued association with BLIS Technologies. Her career pathway developed into senior lecturer roles in health and on to advisor and consultant roles in science and business for both the Dubai and New Zealand governments and for private companies.
Recently, Chris has been supporting Dementia Hawkes Bay Charitable Trust (DHBCT) as a Chair and latterly Change Manager. DHBCT provides community support and education across Hawke’s Bay and day respite at their facilities, for those affected by dementia.
Chris is looking forward to being able to support MND New Zealand.
We moved to Miami in 2008 where I completed a neurology residency and a fellowship in neuromuscular medicine. During this time, I began seeing patients with MND and knew right away I wanted to continue the journey.
Charley and I had two children while in Florida and then moved back to Kansas City where I became an assistant professor at KU Medical Center in 2013. Over the next five years I evaluated and diagnosed many patients with MND and worked as part of a healthcare team in a weekly MND multidisciplinary clinic supported by the ALS Association (ALSA). Through ALSA, I participated in fundraising activities and worked to improve access for rural patients via a telemedicine multidisciplinary clinic.
At KU I was also involved in neuromuscular research, including several MND studies. In late 2018, Charley accepted a position as a consultant forensic pathologist with the ADHB and we moved with our two children to New Zealand.
Currently I practice as a very part-time neurologist seeing patients in rural Kansas USA via telemedicine from my home in Auckland.
I have always been aware and ensured I have practised in a voluntary and work environment that any group I’m managing or representing are involved in the discussions or decisions. My working career is extensive and varied - I started my career as a nurse and continued on a part time basis while raising 3 children. Then started my own business in the wool industry. After 10 years I sold the business and moved into the non-for-profit sector as a Development Manager at St Peters College, until moving to the Maritime Museum as the Commercial Manager. Since then, I have been NZ Manager for a variety of international brands like Swarovski, Guess, Monte Blanc and currently Calendar Club.