BY EMMA CONNOLLY
A CLONAKILY man who is living with motor neuron disease described climbing Ireland’s highest mountain as ‘absolutely epic.’
Michael Hurley, and a team of around 50 of his supporters, climbed Carrauntoohill, to raise funds for the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association and to assist him in his future care needs.
Known as Milo to family and friends, there were emotional scenes when the 43-year-old descended after his eight hour climb.
The father of four was diagnosed in 2017 after he noticed muscle wastage on his limbs, explained his wife Valerie.
‘He had a weakness in his right arm but we thought it was just a knot in his shoulder,’ she recalled.
It’s thought he had been battling the condition for a few years before his diagnosis. An employee at Carbery Plastics, he had to give up his work in April of last year and no longer has use of his hands.
Milo described that as a ‘hard road’ and said that things can be tough going, but that the fundraising climb was a major boost.
‘The community support we’ve received has been amazing,’ he said.
So far over €5,000 has been raised through a GoFundMe page and sponsorship.
A message on their GoFundMe page reads: ‘Funds will go towards Michael’s ongoing care and needs, adaptations, extra homecare hours, aids, vehicle that can be adapted to suit Michael’s needs. The list is vast but all funds will be spilt equally with both the society and to Michael’s care and family support.’
The family are currently living on Strand Road but are preparing to move to a specially adapted house in Wayside on the outskirts of the town.
Valerie, originally from Carrigaline, said: ‘We are so blessed with that and hope to have moved by October.’
She recently gave up her work with a city based finance company to care full time for Milo. ‘Between CUH, Beaumount, Marymount and Bantry palliative care team, their support has been a huge solace to us since diagnosis and we would be lost without them.
‘It is very frustrating for Milo not to be able to do anything for himself but we’re just taking it day by day. Our four boys are great and the climb has given us a great morale boost.’ To help the fund search ‘come climb with me’ on GoFundMe.