YOUNG STARS: Ebony Wickham, Zara Eather , Emma Siebenhausen and Keely Hilton will be some of the young talent performing at the Shine for MND concert next weekend.
YOUNG STARS: Ebony Wickham, Zara Eather , Emma Siebenhausen and Keely Hilton will be some of the young talent performing at the Shine for MND concert next weekend. Candyce Braithwaite

Talent showcase to aid MND cause

TWO and a half years ago John Tyson was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

For this disease there is no treatment and no cure.

Mr Tyson's daughter, Robyn Wickham, said the first symptom of her father's illness was twitching in his muscles.

"The twitching started in his right arm, then he started to lose strength in it," she said.

"When his arm reached the stage it was visibly smaller than his other, he went to see his GP.

"It was several months before he received a diagnosis."

Mrs Wickham said there was no way to test for the disease.

"It was a matter of waiting to see if his condition worsened before he could be diagnosed," she said.

"Dad's left arm was the next part of his body to be affected with the same symptoms.

"He has now completely lost the use of both his arms and legs."

Family members don't know which part of Mr Tyson's body may be affected next.

"The disease takes a different course in every sufferer," Mrs Wickham said.

"There's no cure or treatment and in Australia the disease takes one person's life daily."

To help raise funds vital to research into the disease Mrs Wickham and her daughter Ebony have decided to hold the Shine for MND concert.

"Ebony has been singing for many years," Mrs Wickham said.

"There aren't many opportunities to perform in Warwick and that's why we decided to hold this type of fundraiser.

"We've travelled a lot to give Ebony the chance to sing in talent quests, so we're giving other young performers the chance to shine in their own town as well.

"We've held some auditions to find performers, which has shown there are a lot of talented young singers in our town who are eager to perform," Mrs Wickham said.

Tickets for the concert are $25, which includes dinner and concert. Local magician Taos Poole will be performing on the night, and $10 from each ticket sold will go to the MND Research Institute of Australia.

The concert will be held on August 17 and tickets are available at the Warwick RSL on Albion St or by phoning 4661 8547.

Motor neurone disease can affect adults at any age, although the peak age of onset is during the 50s and 60s.

Men are affected slightly more often than women.

It affects the movement of voluntary muscles - arms, legs, back, neck - and the ability to speak, swallow and breathe. In most cases intellect and memory are unaffected. Average life expectancy from diagnosis is two to three years. Donations can also be made at the RSL.



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