No One Achieves Anything Alone
Connection is a core need that we all have and it is through our connections, networks and attitude that what can seem impossible can become possible. We believe that no one achieves anything alone! Everyone needs someone and it takes people to make a difference and by banding together, can achieve often what seems impossible.
My business, Your Time Matters encourages conversations, connections and insights that enrich your life, personally and professionally and recognises that the power of networks is a force of its own.
In the past fortnight, I have witnessed a Panel of Business Owners talk about "Problems vs Opportunities" and share how they have been challenged and called on their ability to be resilient, persistent and committed
Yesterday our lives were enriched through the conversations, connections and stories we were privileged to hear when we attended the McLardy McShane Christmas Lunch to raise funds for the REACH Foundation. McLardy McShane have been running these events for 9 years to support community, in particular the REACH Foundation, yet this was the first lunch we have attended. It was significant event for us to attend for numerous reasons.
The Reach Foundation has been a favoured not-for-profit organisation in our family for over 12 years. Our daughter, Olivia currently works for Reach, but not only that, she started her relationship with Reach when she was in Year 9, when she became part of the crew, and over many years, a Senior facilitator providing workshops and programs to youth. Olivia has been mentored by many inspiring people, including the late Jimmy Stynes.
For years we have heard of and witnessed the impact of the organisation on both young people and their adult supporters alike. Yesterday, we saw first hand the impact REACH has had on our daughter and how she too has added something special to the organisation.
As part of the luncheon, Olivia interviewed Neale Daniher and 600 people listened intently as Neale shared his story and his fight with MND(Motor Neurons Disease) . His outlook and honesty was inspiring as he shared the highs and lows of his journey, and his battle with a debilitating illness.
Olivia asked many pertinent questions and set the scene as we heard about Neale prior to his diagnosis…
Pre 2014, Neale was 100% healthy
- working in Western Australia
- top priorities family
- always focussing on what you have, not what you haven’t got.
He told us how he grew up as a country boy, from a family of 10 brothers and sisters, living on a farm had been good grounding for his future life. He had seen crops and fields , prosper and fail, he had learnt you had to “suck it up” whatever happens to you. He painted the picture “ It might rain, it might not…you have to suck it up”….. resilience was something he learnt from an early age.
Olivia introduced the subject of Fight MND, she asked direct questions and the elephant in the room was not forgotten. Neale admitted it was a low point when first diagnosed, and he couldn’t believe there was no cure, that he wouldn’t die all that nicely, but admitted that he eventually realised it was no good feeling sorry for yourself, he just had to “suck it up”.
Neale shared how once you pass through the stages of disbelief, shock, blame, he looked for an opportunity to help others which ultimatley provided him with hope. Admitting opportunity can be hard to find, he pointed out that the opportunity does not have to be about you. It may be an opportunity to help someone else. A lot of people need help when diagnosed with an illness. Here was his opportunity to help to raise funds for an effective treatment or cure for MND Here was his opportunity –Fight MND …
The decision to Fight MND was to set up the Big Freeze. It drew big hearted people together because people care and it takes people …an army of people have been advocates to raise funds and to give hope. What Neale wanted to do was give hope…to show that someone cares…. And through the fight a break through may come. They had hoped to raise $100k-.
The audience applauded as they learnt that what had been a goal to raise $100k- from the first Big Freeze to Fight MND had gone on to have raised $26 million dollars !
Not only has the Foundation raised an enormous amount of money, it has created an awareness of the terminal illness, and through sharing stories of connection, families and those afflicted, have come to aid further research and hope that one day a cure can be found.
Olivia told us of many inspiring comments on the facebook page that are life changing. Recently Neale has become a donor of cells …. Neale shared some details of the new research opportunities that are ahead for MND.
Throughout the interview it was evident that Neale has not lost his sense of humour and said he was a great delegator and explained the work of the Foundation is done by others, whilst he is the face.
His highlights of the last few years…. Wake up every morning, he has fun, reflecting on what you have, not on what you don’t have, opportunity to help…the more you focus on others the better.
The final question was true insight into an inspiring man. He shared the things he now hates such as lose of independence, but is enjoying life as it is to the best of his ability and he would be kicking on to the after party.
The closing question invited Neale to share some words of wisdom for others who may be facing into tough times. He left us with these thoughts
- there is always opportunity even in times of grief and difficulty
- it may not be easy to find, but it can be an opportunity to help others
- it depends on your attitude and that is where you just have to “suck it up”……
During the interview, Neale compared his journey to that of others who faced adversity and the young people of Reach. He highlighted how Reach gives young people hope. And if you are not hopeful, you have nothing.
As Neale spoke, I was reminded of a time now some 10 years ago, when Olivia went on a school trip to India named the “Pilgimage of Hope” and I wonder if she to recalled her experience.
As Olivia drew the segment to a close she asked those present to think about their priorities and the opportunity right infront of them to give hope to a young person, who would benefit a weekend camp with Reach and giving them hope that people care, that opportunities are available and life can change. We grabbed the opportunity with both hands and hopefully will have made a difference to two young people … because everyone needs hope and everyone needs someone to help them.
If you are looking for an opportunity to help others, please contact both or one of these worthy causes, to donate your time or money and in so doing creatie hope and opportunity for others.