Seasoned broadcaster Charlie Bird has revealed he received hundreds of cards and letters from the public after publicly announcing he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease.
The former RTÉ reporter appeared on The Late Late Show two weeks ago alongside his wife Claire who spoke about her recent life-limiting diagnosis.
The father of two and grandfather who lives in Co Wicklow said he was “humbled” by the “quantity of cards and letters” arriving at his house.
Speaking to Twitter, Mr Bird said he would do his best to answer everyone, but it could take him weeks to do so. He also revealed that he had received tens of thousands of messages wishing him good luck.
He tweeted: “There have been hundreds of them (and) I’m trying to write to as many people as possible, but it could take weeks. And to the tens of thousands who sent me messages. Thank you from the heart.”
Motor neuron disease (MND) is a progressive neurological disease that attacks motor neurons, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord. This means that the messages gradually stop reaching the muscles, resulting in weakness and melting, according to the Irish Motor Neuron Diseases Association.
There are approximately 360 people living with MND in Ireland at any given time. Each year, around 140 people in Ireland are diagnosed. MND can affect adults at any age, but most people diagnosed are over the age of 50.
Mr Bird added how thrilled he was to learn that cervical cancer awareness campaigner Vicky Phelan would be awarded the Freedom of Limerick, home of the Kilkenny native.
“So happy to see that Vicky Phelan is granted the freedom of Limerick… she deserves the freedom of Ireland for what she has gone through. So honored that I met her recently. Vicky, you are my new best best friend (BFF). Stay strong and I hope we climb Croagh Patrick together.
The determined broadcaster roped Ms. Phelan, RTÉ presenter Ryan Tubridy, journalist and disability rights activist Joanne O’Riordan on March 26 to complete the massive rise in MND awareness.