The grandmother, who tragically lost her daughter to cancer and her mother to Covid, said she remained healthy and positive despite a diagnosis of motor neuron disease.

Argaret Malverny, 71, from Laurea, Galway, believes former RTÉ reporter Charlie Byrd is the inspiration for fighting the disease.

Ms. Malvany said she knew something was seriously wrong when she continued to drag and stumbled.

“I walked everywhere in my life,” she said.

“I love walking and I walked over 5 miles a day. I always stay healthy with a healthy diet.

“In November 2019, I stumbled during my walk and rubbed my hands and knees. I thought I had stumbled upon something, but I couldn’t see anything.

“There was nothing obvious about me.”

When I received a back scan from the GP, I did not see any abnormalities, but I was referred to various specialists who were suffering from symptoms, such as podiatrists, spine surgeons, neurologists, and physiotherapists.

She returned to see a neurologist when her condition worsened and began to have problems with her fine motor skills until she “couldn’t close the buttons and earrings.”


Margaret said he was inspired by former RTÉ journalist Charlie Byrd, who is fighting the disease.Photo: Jerry Mooney

She was diagnosed with motor neuron disease in January. “After all, it took her three years to reach my diagnosis,” Mulvany said.

“I thought that if I could keep walking, I would be able to walk for some reason, and I was working hard, so I was finally relieved to be diagnosed. I felt that I had lost my heart. And my faith was the only thing that kept me moving.

“The relief of knowing what is really happening is profound, and I was able to accept and accept my diagnosis and found some peace.”

But the diagnosis could not have come at a worse time.

Her daughter Elizabeth, 41, was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and died a few months later, leaving four young children. Around the same time, Malverny’s 89-year-old mother died of Covid-19 during the blockade.

Ms. Malvany said she remained bright and was inspired by former RTÉ journalist Charlie Byrd, 72, who revealed that he was also fighting the disease last year.

And like Charlie, she is a strong supporter of the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association, which hosts the National Awareness Month for Motor Neuron Disease this month.

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