Australian Story: Oct 9

Australian Story: Oct 9

Monday’s Australian Story profiles much loved TV presenter Fiona MacDonald (It’s a Knockout) as she shares her story about living with motor neurone disease.

Fiona MacDonald knows that time is running out, but she’s not sitting still.

Against all advice, the former TV personality set off earlier this year on a “Thelma and Louise” style road trip around Australia with her sister Kylie Thynne.

“I said, ‘No, no, no, you can’t do it. It’s too far’”, says sister Jacki. “I expect you to get to Adelaide and turn around.”

In the 1980s, Fiona and Jacki were both popular TV presenters – Fiona was on the game show It’s a Knock Out while Jacki was on Hey Hey It’s Saturday.

Almost two years ago, at the age of 64, this bubbly extrovert was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, an illness which robs its victims of speech, mobility and eventually their lives. It’s a disease with no cure.

“The frustrating thing from where I sit is that when Fiona says to me, ‘Why did I get motor neurone disease?’, I have to say, I don’t know”, says her neurologist Professor Dominic Rowe.

Determined to make the most of what time she has left, Fiona is raising money for MND research and awareness around the disease as she circumnavigates the country.

“I think Fiona, once she decided to be a warrior for MND, she decided that ‘I’m going to use my profile. I have a history…why don’t I make those things count?’”, says Kylie.

“I didn’t want to be at home sitting on the couch doing nothing, waiting for it to get worse”, Fiona says.

Australian Story follows the sisters on this heart-warming, funny and emotional journey of a lifetime. “The message I think Fiona is trying to deliver to everybody is live your life, don’t sit on the couch, do something crazy like drive around Australia for 40 days”, Kylie says.

Producer: Janine Cohen

8pm Monday on ABC.

To donate funds to MND research & trials visit here.

MND Australia