herald

Friday 15 December 2017

TD McFadden vows to work despite illness

FINE Gael TD Nicky McFadden has revealed she has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease but is determined to continue working.

The 50-year-old mother of two was elected to the Dail for the first time last year.

She was diagnosed with the debilitating condition in the past week.

"I was shocked and distressed when I was told but after a while it was clear that this was something to be fought and I'm a fighter," McFadden sad.

"Other than a slowing of my speech, I have no other symptoms.

"I'm determined to maintain my workload as energetically as I have up until now."

The disease destroys motor neurons, the cells that control activities like as speaking, walking, breathing, and swallowing.

It is more common in men than women with symptoms typically appearing after the age of 40.

The condition has received considerable profile in recent months because of the very public battle fought by RTE sports presenter Colm Murray.

Over 600,000 people tuned into a documentary about how the horse racing enthusiast is fighting the disease.

Now Nicky says she is determined to continue all her work including her vigorous campaign "to prevent Custume Barracks in Athlone from being stripped of its brigade headquarter status".

The Longford/Westmeath TD first noticed some symptoms eight months ago but was only given the diagnosis last week.

hnews@herald.ie

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