MARTINA O’DONOGHUE talks to the family of a Corkman who is leading a campaign to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease
A CORK father-of-four who is battling incurable Motor Neurone Disease has made it his mission to raise awareness of the illness.
Adrian Peyton, who was diagnosed in mid-July, said: “It’s heartbreaking and frightening but I will fight it.”
The 47-year-old, from Knocknaheeny, , who has seven brothers and seven sisters, is now spearheading a campaign to educate people about Motor Neurone Disease and 50 members of his family are attending a ball in Cork’s Vienna Woods Hotel on Friday to raise funds for sufferers.
Adrian noticed his speech was slurring in March and is now at the stage where swallowing is difficult.
Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is an incurable, progressive, neurological condition, affecting voluntary muscle activity including speaking, walking, breathing, swallowing and general movement.
Among the sufferers are RTÉ sports correspondent Colm Murray, and Cork mental health campaigner John McCarthy, who passed away earlier this year.
Cork currently has 37 registered MND patients, the most outside the capital.
Adrian’s partner Ciara Holton, with whom he has two children, aged six and four, said: “It’s devastating for us, for him to be so young and to have life change so drastically.
“He has good days when he’s very strong but he can be weak the next and, of course, very emotional as well.”
Adrian’s sister, Mary-Rose, with whom he is particularly close, says: “We sit and cry with him on bad days but there is a lot of laughter as well. He has been so strong and positive and hopefully an inspiration to those who have been diagnosed since.”
One of Adrian’s sons, Jamie, is also organising a soccer tournament at Castle View Pitches in Churchfield on October 13 as part of the MND awareness campaign.
Meanwhile, more than 50 members of his family are preparing to attend the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA) gala dinner at Vienna Woods Hotel this Friday.
Read the full interview in Tuesday’s Cork Evening Echo