Ararat residents prepare for world record 'Ice Bucket Challenge' attempt

Kim and Greg Kerr prepare for a dousing of ice cold water by Ashlea Knight - all in a good cause, raising funds and awareness for Motor Neurone Disease. Picture: BEN KIMBER

Kim and Greg Kerr prepare for a dousing of ice cold water by Ashlea Knight - all in a good cause, raising funds and awareness for Motor Neurone Disease. Picture: BEN KIMBER

OPRAH's done it, Taylor Swift's done it, even Bill Gates has done it, and next week Ararat's Kim and Greg Kerr will be doing it too.

Doing what you ask? Getting an ice cold bucket of water poured over their heads, a much braver undertaking in winter than those taking part in the Ice Bucket Challenge in the northern hemisphere.

The Ice Bucket Challenge is the social media phenomenon that is sweeping the world to help raise money for Motor Neurone Disease. The rules are simple, perform the Ice Bucket Challenge - have a bucket of iced water poured over your head - and then nominate three others to also undertake the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Australian organisation Laugh to Cure MND, which is aiming to raise $500,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Research Institute of Australia, will be holding a world record attempt today at Etihad Stadium at 5.30pm and Kim and Greg Kerr will also be participating in this event to help raise awareness for this disease, which has no treatment and no cure.

Kim Kerr has been motivated to undertake the challenge through watching her uncle Tom battle the disease.

"Throughout our life most of us are affected by some tragedy or witness something that changes our lives and the way we think forever, my life has recently been touched through my Uncle Tom who is suffering with the hideous disease called Motor Neurone Disease," Ms Kerr said.

Motor Neurone Disease is a group of diseases in which the nerve cells (neurones) controlling the muscles that enable us to move, speak, breathe and swallow undergo degeneration and die. The average life expectancy is between two to three years from diagnosis.

"I was so moved when I went to visit him at his home at near Goroke last week. To see his beautiful family caring and doing everything, and I mean everything, for him was a truly humbling experience," Ms Kerr said.

"I am constantly reminded of the choices we as human beings make, whether it be wars, fighting, protests, violence, and that MND and all other insidious disease sufferers have no choice, as their choice is taken away from them. It certainly puts things into perspective.

"We feel quite useless as we watch this great man struggle for his life, so Greg and I have made the commitment to join the World Record Attempt - Ice Bucket Challenge at Etihad stadium today and try to bring some awareness and or a donation to finding a cure, as this is our only way we feel we can support this darling man and anyone else living with this disease."

Ararat doctor Graeme Bertuch is also currently living with Motor Neurone Disease and as a show of support for him and his battle, Kim and Greg Kerr have also decided to bring the Ice Bucket Challenge to Ararat by allowing Ashlea Knight, Landmark Harcourt's property manager to dump ice water on their heads next week.

The Ice Bucket Challenge will take place next Wednesday August 27 out the front of the Landmark Harcourts Real Estate office, 90 Barkly Street, Ararat, at 4.30pm and all are welcome to witness the drenching.

If you wish to donate you are welcome to do so on this day or visit http://www.laughtocuremnd.com/ to donate.

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