New MND awareness campaign launches today (Global ALS/MND Awareness Day)

David Seymour image

As part of Motor Neurone Disease Awareness Month and to mark Global ALS/MND Awareness Day, today we launched a new campaign to help raise awareness of motor neurone disease in New Zealand, and in turn increase support, funding, and research, to benefit those living with the disease.

Whangarei-based David Seymour, who was diagnosed with MND in 2017, is the face of the campaign and shares the story of his journey with MND to help educate Kiwis on the reality of the disease. “I was 52 years old, thinking I could have it all. I could run, I was healthy, I had a passion for driving sports cars, a fantastic career – and then it all comes crashing down.” Click here to learn more about David Seymour.

We worked with David, the MND community, and creative agency Special Group to create the campaign – an online TradeMe store called ‘David’s Unusables’. Through the store David will be selling items representative of those he can no longer use due to his loss of mobility from MND*. Behind each item there is a story about what it means to David and why he is selling it. *Note: The items being sold through TradeMe have all been donated by generous external parties. They are not David’s actual possessions and are representative of David’s journey with MND only.

“The physical items I still have means a lot less now than they ever did. It’s the memories of each item which means more than the items themselves. You have to maintain a positive outlook on the situation, as difficult as it may be – I’m going to enjoy using what I can, whilst my body allows me to. Unfortunately, I’m now confined to a power chair. Last week was the first time I’ve had to ask my son to help me finish my dinner as my arm had given out, so soon I won’t even be able to use simple things like cutlery or teacups.”

There will be 32 items sold via auction on the TradeMe store over the next couple of months (from Monday 21 June until September), with all funds raised going to MND New Zealand. There will also be the option for people to donate. Items include everything from a fishing rod, bike, swimming flippers, a lawnmower, to simple items such as books and teacups.

The store will be promoted through the media, digital advertising, and our own channels and networks. Informercial style promotional video clips will also be used to highlight the variety of items available for sale, fronted by infomercial queen Suzanne Paul.

We are grateful to have partnered with creative agency Special Group and TradeMe pro-bono to create this campaign. We’d also like to thank the group of clients and carers who provided valuable feedback during the campaign’s development. And of course, David for giving up his personal time to help front the campaign.

To bid on an item, visit the TradeMe store, or to make a donation to MND New Zealand, click here.

Thanks to everyone who has taken part in our other MND Awareness Month activities so far, including Cuppa Tea for MND and The MND Ice Bucket Challenge. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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