Interchem staff charity challenge to fundraise for Research Motor Neurone.
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23 Jul 2020
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Interchem staff charity challenge to fundraise for Research Motor Neurone.
Research into the causes of Motor Neurone Disease....
L to R: Dr. Noel Kavanagh, Emmet Costello, Trinity College Dublin/Research Motor Neurone completing his PhD in Neuropsychology and Pat O'Callaghan, Managing Director, Interchem (Ireland) Ltd On the 24th June, 29 Interchem staff members completed a 300km virtual charity challenge. Individuals either walked, jogged or cycled over the course of 1 hour to complete the challenge, virtually from all corners of the country and some socially distancing from Interchems office in Dublin. Even though the team were apart, the team spirit was very strong, keeping in touch via WhatsApp. The Interchem team and Research Motor Neurone Charity have had a tremendous amount of support from customers, suppliers, family and friends, raising over €5,000 which Dr. Noel Kavanagh are very grateful for. Dr Noel Kavanagh., MVB, DPM, MAE, DECHPM, FRCVS. lives in County Meath with his wife Caroline. Noel is a retired vet and specialised in pig medicine. He was diagnosed with MND in December 2018. Noel qualified in veterinary medicine in 1969. Qualified as a specialist of the RCVS in 1984 and was appointed Chairman of the board of examiners in Pig Medicine of the RCVS. Awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (FRCVS) by thesis in 2002. He is a founding member of the European College of Porcine Health management, a practising member of the Academy of Experts and author of the textbook entitled “Maximizing Pig Herd Health, Management and Production Efficiency. Former owner of Oldcastle Laboratories, providing Analytical Laboratory Services in the areas of Animal Health, Food Safety, Animal Nutrition, Toxicology and Environment Control. Retired from his specialist Pig practice in 2012 which provided consultancy services to pig farmers, Pharmaceutical companies, and expert reports in relation to product liability claim investigations.22 Jul 2020
Dr Noel Kavanagh., MVB, DPM, MAE, DECHPM, FRCVS. qualified in veterinary medicine in 1969. Qualified as a specialist of the RCVS in 1984 and was appointed Chairman of the board of examiners in Pig Medicine of the RCVS. Awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (FRCVS) by thesis in 2002. He is a founding member of the European College of Porcine Health management, a practising member of the Academy of Experts and author of the textbook entitled “Maximizing Pig Herd Health, Management and Production Efficiency. Former owner of Oldcastle Laboratories, providing Analytical Laboratory Services in the areas of Animal Health, Food Safety, Animal Nutrition, Toxicology and Environment Control. Retired from his specialist Pig practice in 2012 which provided consultancy services to pig farmers, Pharmaceutical companies, and expert reports in relation to product liability claim investigations. INTRODUCTION My consultancy practice serviced large pig farming clients and conducted clinical trials for Pharmaceutical companies for product registration and for repurposing products in the marketplace. That, in turn, created a demand for presenting the research results at International conferences globally. My services to the Pharma industry created a demand of the preparation of Expert reports, Expert evidence and product complaint investigations. When I sold my Laboratory in 2012 to management, my family and I spent increasing amounts of time in France on our boat. However, I needed a new challenge. I decided that I would study French in Alliance Francaise, the French school in Dublin. The combination of formal training and exposure to conversational French in France yielded the desired result as I became fluent in French. Bizarrely, when MND attacked me in 2018 it took away my ability to speak, not one language, but two. During the same period, I had two UK based International firms of solicitors to whom I was contracted to prepare expert reports and give evidence in court, if necessary. I really enjoyed that work as it suited my semi-retired status. MND robbed me of the ability to work in that field and to enjoy my hobbies, golf, cycling, and scuba diving. MND – WHAT IS IT? MND is a progressive neurological condition that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord. This means that messages gradually stop reaching the muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting. MND is a devastating disease, as it progressively attacks the body. Currently, there is no cure for MND. MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat and breathe. It is a rare disease that generally affects adults. Most people with MND are aged 40 years or older, but occasionally people in their 20s and 30’s develop MND. In Ireland approximately 140 people are diagnosed with MND each year and there are approximately 360 people living with the disease at present, which means that the average patient survival time is only 30 months after diagnosis. The nature of the disease is that it affects different people in different ways. There are no specific definitive symptoms that would immediately support a diagnosis. I was diagnosed with MND in December 2018. The symptoms developed after I returned from holidays in August 2018. “I became hoarse, accompanied by reflux and sinusitis. In early September I developed bilateral fasciculations (twitching) in my shoulders. I suspected that I was developing MND on the 1st of September, given the combination of symptoms. Initial test results were attributed to old motorcycle and car racing injuries to my cervical vertebrae. Further tests were conducted between September and December 2018. I was diagnosed with MND by Professor Orla Hardiman in December 2018. I was not surprised or shocked when Professor Hardiman diagnosed MND, I already knew that all the symptoms and tests results pointed to MND, yet it was not what I wanted to hear. My instinctive reaction was to discuss, how quick is it likely to be- i.e., how long have I got to live and what can be done to slow it down. VOICE BANKING Following my MND diagnosis I was advised that I would lose the ability to speak I commenced banking my voice in January 2019 with ModelTalker. Voice banking involves recording a list of 1600 sentences on a computer. When sufficient recordings have been captured, software chops them up into individual sounds (phonetic units). A synthetic voice is then built out of these phonetic units. I banked my voice in English on ModelTalker and French on Cerevoice. This was very important for me because a voice is a very personal thing and being able to keep this aspect of one’s individuality and identity is vital, I now use my iPhone or iPad for communication, so I’m not totally isolated. I type what I want to say into Predictable, which is the interface between the user and ModelTalker on my iPhone or iPad. Predictable then uses my ModelTalker voice to speak. I have WhatsApp and email groups so that I can keep in regular contact with friends. I use FaceTime, ZOOM and other video conference programmes for virtual meetings. They work best if I have someone is with me so that we can more easily keep the flow of conversation going, otherwise there is a lag period whilst I am typing. I am fortunate that my wife Caroline supports me 24/7 and our daughters Kirsten and Naomi and husbands John and Mathew and grandchildren keep in constant contact by WhatsApp, Facetime and Zoom. RESEARCH There is an urgent need for research to categorise the different forms of MND and then to develop therapies that are type specific. “TRICALS, https://www.tricals.org/pharma is the new European association of MND researchers which aims to co-ordinate research projects, with the objective of developing new therapies so that every MND patient qualifies for participation in clinical trial. The ultimate objective is to develop a cure for this dreadful disease and to give hope to those who develop MND, however, funding is required to achieve this. Research needs people’s support. Research Motor neurone urgently needs funds to finance research projects to find a cure.23 Jun 2020
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