by Ross Evans-Smith
My journey (and in quick turn Mick and Pete's), supporting the MND fight began over 10 years ago with my younger brother Cliff's diagnosis with a disease barely any of us knew anything about.
Seeing someone so relatively young and athletic that you shared your childhood, teenage years, adventures both far and near, respective weddings and long-awaited football Grand Finals disappear before your eyes was gut-wrenching and difficult.
And much more so for his wife and two young boys.
However, what also became apparent was not just how many others were taking this journey, but how readily friends (old and new), acquaintances (and half-acquaintances) stepped in and stepped up to offer help and guidance.
Cue MND Victoria: Cliff was a tough guy and although he understood the inevitable outcome for himself, he threw his energy into raising money for research and support to help others. And MND Victoria tirelessly gave him and his family their support and care. And he brought me, the rest of his family, and his friends along for the fight.
Cue Pete and Mick: two guys who have given their time, support and energy anytime, anywhere, and without asking, to many challenges and efforts which have given comfort and strength to others around them. Including dragging me along the Kokoda Track for which I may never forgive them.
I know I speak for all three of us when saying we look forward to the adventure (barring blisters or un-seasonal snowfall) and getting around everyone and giving a bit back.
Ross Evans-Smith is one of our Three Peaks Challenge Event Participants. Together with his friends, Mick Kramer and Peter Mellas, these three champions are part of a group of 25 who are challenging themselves to trek across the Victorian Alps in October 2021 to raise funds for people living with MND.
This amazing group have currently raised over $62,000 with no signs of stopping, and we could not be more proud.
If you would like to make a donation to Ross, Mick and Peter's fundraising, visit www.mnd.org.au/my-fundraising/113/cliffs-climb.