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  • Southside

‘My children are becoming my hands’

Tuesday, 19th June, 2018 8:00am
‘My children are becoming my hands’

Róisín Foley (30) is a single mum living with Motor Neurone Disease.

‘My children are becoming my hands’

Róisín Foley (30) is a single mum living with Motor Neurone Disease.

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A BRAVE Southside mum has spoken of how she relies on her three young children to help her with everyday tasks as she struggles with a terminal disease.

Róisín Foley (30), from Drimnagh, has been featuring on radio ads this month as she draws attention to how Motor Neurone Disease (MND) has affected her life.

She is asking people to support National Awareness Month for Motor Neurone Disease in the ‘Drinking Tea for MND’ campaign.

Róisín is a single mum to three fabulous girls – Rosie (5), Sadie (6) and Rachel (12). However, on her 30th birthday she noticed her hands were weak and she was having difficulty tying her laces. After months of tests, in September 2017 she was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

“I was rapidly changing and I could see my family getting worried,” Róisín recalled. “Rachel started having to do her younger sisters’ hair in the morning before school and showing them how to do up their own buttons. 

“Rachel would also have to unlock the front door for me as I couldn’t get a grip of the key,” said Róisín.

Róisín has been sharing her story about her terminal disease in the hope that greater awareness will generate increased support for those living with this degenerative and debilitating condition.

“My children are slowly becoming my hands,” she added. “For now, I can still make a cup of tea and give them a hug.

“People go through life so stressed out about stuff that really doesn't matter, but I actually feel blessed I’ve been given an opportunity to enjoy myself while I can and focus on the important things. So, for now it’s all about family and making memories,” said Róisín.

“The day I was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, my family gathered around me, the kettle constantly on the go, and in between crying and talking, we just drank tea. Sometimes when there are no words, there is tea. Please join me this June and Drink Tea for MND.”

To organise your Drink Tea for MND event throughout the month of June all you have to do is email or Freefone 1800403403 and you will be sent a Supervalu sponsored tea pack.

If you can’t organise a tea day you can make a tea donation by texting MND to 50300 and donating €2. (Some network providers charge VAT, meaning a minimum of €1.63 will go to IMNDA).

The IMNDA provides specialised services for people affected by this debilitating disease such as equipment on loan, financial assistance towards home help, advice and home visits by a MND Nurse.

 In order to provide these vital services, the IMNDA depends heavily on the generosity of the public and supporters of the association who generate over 82 per cent of its income.

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a progressive neurological condition that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord. This means messages gradually stop reaching muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting. MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. 

However, not all symptoms necessarily happen to everyone and it is unlikely they will all develop at the same time, or in any specific order.

 The IMNDA is the only organisation of its kind in this country. It was set up in May 1985 to provide care and support to people with Motor Neurone Disease, their carers, families and friends.

There are currently over 370 people living with MND in Ireland. MND is often referred to as the 1,000-day disease as, sadly, most people die within 1,000 days of being diagnosed.


Róisín is fronting the National MND Awareness month and is encouraging people to Drink Tea for MND this June.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here