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Eagles ready to embark on charitable journey

Rhys Dickinson  November 9, 2017 12:00 PM

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Amanda Cox, Jessica van Beijnum, Brittany Lamb and Claire Santoro cannot wait to begin the Drive for MND Coral Coast Adventure

A team of four West Coast Eagles staffers will hit the road on a three-day voyage along Western Australia’s iconic coast to raise money for people battling motor neurone disease.

West Coast chief financial officer Amanda Cox, people and risk coordinator Claire Santoro, accounts assistant Brittany Lamb and community and partnerships coordinator Jessica van Beijnum will make tracks toward Dongara at 7am tomorrow for the first leg of the 2017 Motor Neurone Disease Association of WA Drive for MND Coral Coast Adventure.

The rest of the journey, which aims to raise awareness and funds for MNDAWA, will be a mystery to the convoy of approximately 30 cars participating in the event.

Cox, a two-year veteran of the charitable event, said she couldn’t wait to embark on the adventure with her colleagues, who were all making their drive debuts.

“We really have no idea what route we are taking,” Cox said.

“The first night is in Dongara and we will be staying at the Priory Hotel. It’ll be a big community night, which they have sold tickets for locals to attend. They will have auctions, raffles and more. Dongara is a very community-centric town, so everyone wants to attend. They’re advertising it everywhere.

“Day two is a complete mystery and on day three we drive back to Perth and plan to arrive at City Beach Cricket Club at 1pm, where MNDAWA will host a lunch and announce the fundraising total.”

Santoro signed up for the drive to honour her late grandmother, Ginny, who lost her battle with MND in 2008.

“We first realised something was wrong in November 2007 when she had a fall in a shopping centre and they pinpointed that it was MND relatively quickly,” Santoro said of her grandmother’s diagnosis.

“She was taken to hospital in January 2008 and spent the next four or five months there. It was awful watching her deteriorate. She was the matriarch of the family, a very strong woman, and she started to lose control of her motor function pretty quickly, lost a lot of weight and then ultimately lost her dignity.

“When Amanda approached me to participate in the drive I couldn’t have signed up quicker.”

More than 2000 Australians are affected by MND and at least two people die from the disease each day.

People living with MND have an average life expectancy of 27 months from their date of diagnosis.

To support the West Coast Eagles’ 2017 Drive for MND Coral Coast Adventure team, please visit https://driveformnd.everydayhero.com/au/west-coast-eagles.

The club is also hosting a quiz night on Thursday, November 23 at Domain Stadium to raise additional funds for MNDAWA.

For more information regarding the quiz night, please email mndawaquiznight@gmail.com