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Natalie Gauld: Adventuring after MND

Awareness, Living with MND

23 March 2023

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Natalie was diagnosed with MND in November of 2022 and as is the case for everyone in this situation had a lot to process and go through along with her loved ones.

It was discovered that she has one of the slower progressing versions of MND, so Natalie decided to do everything in her power to make this time count, and one of the ways she chose was to advocate for Kiwis with MND, and to fundraise for Motor Neurone Disease NZ.

Being an avid cyclist, but facing the fact that MND means that riding a traditional push bike was no longer safe, she discovered a new way to still do what she loves with a powered 3 wheel cycle called MOTOM. Originally developed by Kiwi engineer Andrew Nash to help him remain active while facing his own disability. Natalie made a plan with her husband to take on some of New Zealand’s most iconic great trails saying “I don’t know how long we’ll be able to continue riding. So I wanted to make the most of it. I thought, this way I can raise awareness, raise funds and help the organisation I know is going to help me.”

Natalie began by taking on the South Island to take in the sights and wildlife, often coming across novel moments like the curious weka that didn’t know what to make of this person powering through on a MOTOM. Along the way meeting with others living with MND to make connections and hear their stories. With an ambitious goal to raise $15,000 she’ll be finishing with an Auckland based fun ride open to the community and will take her efforts even further by joining the MND NZ advocacy groups, helping us apply pressure where necessary to ensure Kiwis living with MND have access to the highest levels of quality care and quality of life.

You can learn more about Natalie's journey and support her efforts by visiting her fundraising profile at https://mnd-new-zealand-fundraise.raisely.com/natalie-gauld/

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