Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Esther Minglis had never heard of Motor Neurone Disease (MND), a progressive neurological illness that weakens the muscles. That was until her father was diagnosed at age 53. “Initially he was diagnosed with a brain tumour… when he was re-tested they said it’s actually something worse.” She thought to herself what could be worse than a brain tumour. That’s when Ms Minglis and her family received the diagnosis that her father had MND; a disease with no cure. The family set out to find out as much as they could about this debilitating disease and discovered that there was very little research and not much government funding. “It was devastating,” Ms Minglis explains to Neos Kosmos about the disease. “It was cruel, because the body starts to deteriorate – it loses all its functions.” Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a group of diseases affecting the nerve cells that control the muscles which allow us to function normally, concerning mobility, speech, breathing and swallowing. Despite this, she recalls the great strength of her family during this time, in particular that of her mother. “Mum kept Dad at home right until the last day, so she was lifting him and bathing him, you know the Greek women, what they’re like.” Her father lost his life to MND just over a year after his diagnosis and was buried on his 54th birthday. Following this loss close to 16 years ago, Ms Minglis felt a great responsibility to promote awareness of MND in her community. “I wanted to do something and one day I thought, I think it’s time… I want more people to know about it.” This aspiration gave birth to Liberty for MND and the Melbourne Showcase Market, comprising more than 80 stalls and entertainment for the whole family. The market will be held indoors and entry is a cold coin donation with all funds raised going to MND Victoria, an underfunded organisation dedicated to supporting people living with the disease. Ms Minglis will forever be indebted to them, recalling that “they were just fantastic” during her family’s difficult time. After the great success of the first event, the second showcase is currently being organised. “We get the local radio to come in, we try and get a few local politicians… it’s a big event,” she says. With something for all the family, there will be stall holders selling anything and everything, along with jumping castles, arts and crafts and face painting for the kids. Upon entry free goody bags will be available, containing products from sponsors such as Fernwood Preston and LR Collection. Growing up in a Greek household and experiencing the difficulties of dealing with the diagnosis of a deadly disease about which so little is known, and witnessing her mother tending to her father right up to his final moments, Ms Minglis hopes holding the event in an area like Preston will attract the local Greek population, saying “I would like more support from the Greek community, so that they can spread the word”. The Melbourne Showcase Market proudly supporting Liberty for MND will be held on Sunday 28 April between 10.00 am to 3.00 pm at Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre Cnr Bell Street and St Georges Road, Preston. To donate visit www.facebook.com/LibertyforMND.