Rather than slinking into the shadows, former Australian Football League (AFL) player Neale Daniher has made his battle with motor neuron disease (MND) quite public.
He was diagnosed in 2014 and has since dedicated his life to educating others about the disease and raising money to find a cure.
Unfortunately, Daniher thinks this will be the last year he will be able to be front and centre for the Big Freeze.
He co-found the fundraiser, which involves celebrities, football players and regional clubs, including some in Wagga, sliding into freezing cold water.
It’s been held annually for the past four years on the Queen’s birthday long weekend before the game between Melbourne and Collingwood.
It has also prompted a big show of support from local clubs in the Riverina.
The former West Wyalong boy has played a huge part in not only raising money but awareness about the disease.
He received a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2016 for his efforts in fighting the disease and there’s even talk now that he should be named Australian of the Year.
His praises have once again been sung for another successful event at the weekend, in which 18 AFL coaches participated, along with countless others across the country.
The disease might be harming his speech and muscles but it’s done nothing to damage his attitude and it’s that fighting spirit that will be carried on long after he loses his battle.
His actions and words have inspired not just those in the sporting community, but anyone who’s listened to him speak, attended an event or watched him play.
The effect he will have on this country is not just for his prowess on the football field or as a coach from the sidelines.
Freeze MND and the Big Freeze has raised more than $30 million since its inception.
He has also donated his skin cells for research and ensured this country is at the forefront of MND research.
Local clubs have been inspired with football and netball players wearing blue and white socks on June 16 and 17 before Coolamon and Wagga Tigers host Bush Freeze in August in support of the cause.
Chances are, those who are suffering from the disease now will not be around to see a cure.
But they will see the efforts of those around them to find one and that can be just an inspiring.