By Matt Fotia
On AFL Grand Final weekend 2010 Craig Bryant, a loving father of two went to hospital with a shortness of breath, most likely caused by asthma. Whilst in the hospital the doctors noticed something strange in the 37 year olds legs, he seemed to have significant muscle wastage.
After numerous tests, Craig was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.
Just eight months later, on the 1st of June 2011, the 38 year old passed away and left his wife Leah and their two sons Zach and Archer behind.
Fighting on through the indescribable grief, Leah, her two boys, Craig’s brother Shane and sister Nicole created Craig’s Crew, a group dedicated to raising funds to fight MND, otherwise known as ‘the beast’, for their late Husband, Father and Brother.
In 2018 the crew raised almost $20,000 through the sales of FightMND beanies and socks.
This year, with the help of the Pakenham and Dandenong Basketball Associations as well as the Pakenham Football Club and Pakenham Lions Netball Club, Craig’s Crew have had orders for over $25,000 worth of MND gear to date, with over 800 beanies and 1000 pairs of socks ordered.
Pakenham will be hosting its own Big Freeze event this weekend, with a luncheon and ice slide of their own.
Football President Travis Hamilton, Local MP Jason Wood, Craig’s sons Zach and Archer, Cardinia Shire Mayor Graeme Moore and prominent ex Pakenham player Tom O’Loughlin will all be going down the slide in Craig’s honour.
Bec Daniher, the daughter of Fight MND’s number one ambassador Neale, will be a guest speaker at Pakenham’s luncheon and all facets of the Pakenham Sporting Club (Senior Football, Womens Football, Junior Football and the Netball) have bought at least one table of ten each, some have multiple.
The luncheon will also include a raffle and a silent auction, with all funds going towards the MND cause.
Each player at the club has purchased a pair of Fight MND socks to wear for this weekends action and you can expect to see a sea of blue beanies around Toomuc Reserve on Saturday.
Senior Women’s player and committee member Belinda McGee spoke about the importance of supporting both the Bryant’s and this great cause.
“Every player has purchased a pair of socks to help out, we know that they can find a cure to MND if we can get more funding, so it’s important that we support Leah and the boys and the FightMND cause.”
You can donate to FightMND via this link : https://bit.ly/2Tp0DHg