The Motor Neurone Disease Association of New Zealand (MND NZ) and Fulton Hogan have announced a three-year partnership to enhance the quality of life for people living with motor neurone disease.
New Zealand has the highest known rate of motor neurone disease (MND) in the world, with an average of two people per week diagnosed and over 300 people living with the condition. More than 90% of MND NZ’s funding, which is used to support people with MND and their families, comes from fundraising and grants with government funding making up less than 10%. This makes the support of organisations like Fulton Hogan particularly important as we develop our support services, says MND New Zealand General Manager Carl Sunderland.
“It is a source of real pride for MND New Zealand that Fulton Hogan has agreed to become the inaugural Foundation Corporate Sponsor,” Mr Sunderland says.
As MND New Zealand’s Foundation Corporate Sponsor, Fulton Hogan will help enable MND New Zealand’s Support Team to provide additional assistance to people living with MND through the establishment of a home care fund for clients and families. Details of the fund are still being finalised but will be accessible to clients through MND New Zealand’s Support Team.
“We rely almost completely on the generosity of the New Zealand community to continue to provide free, personalised and practical support to people living with MND, their carers and families nationwide and Fulton Hogan is playing a major part in this,” Mr Sunderland says.
“We are delighted to have the support of an organisation of Fulton Hogan’s stature and, even more importantly, with Fulton Hogan’s values.”
Fulton Hogan Managing Director Cos Bruyn says MND New Zealand’s readiness to help in typically stressful situations right across the country means the two organisations have important things in common.
“Diagnosis of motor neurone disease comes as a bolt out of the blue for anyone. The ability of MND New Zealand’s Support Team to respond with personalised support and to help co-ordinate multidisciplinary services – from physiotherapy to occupational health and speech and language therapy – makes a fundamental difference to qualities of lives,” Mr Bruyn says.
“A teamwork-based approach is something we know well in working with communities around the country, and we’re pleased to help a charity that’s doing something similar in a critically important area of health.”
Despite being heavily researched, the cause of MND is not well understood and there is no cure. Around 90% of people with MND have no family history of it and it typically affects otherwise healthy people between the ages of 50 and 70. MND is actually a group of diseases that cause motor neurones – the nerve cells that control the voluntary movement of the muscles that enable us to move, speak, swallow and breathe – to gradually weaken and waste away. Although the causes aren’t clinically proven, theories relate to the exposure to environmental toxins and chemicals, infection by viral agents, immune system damage as well as genetic susceptibility.
(Above photo from left to right: Fulton Hogan Managing Director Cos Bruyn, MND New Zealand General Manager Carl Sunderland, Fulton Hogan Chairman David Faulkner, Fulton Hogan Executive General Manager – Culture, Jules Fulton)