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America's Cup: Cup Champion's special link with Official Charity

by Emirates Team NZ Media 18 Jun 08:07 PDT 19 June 2019
ETNZ skipper Glenn Ashby, with Greg Horton (centre) and Grant Dalton © Richard Hodder

Emirates Team New Zealand are to partner with MND New Zealand (the Motor Neurone Disease Association of New Zealand) as the official charity of the Team for the 36th America’s Cup.

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) causes the muscles that enable us to move, speak, swallow and breathe to gradually stop working. New Zealand has the highest known rate of MND in the world, with an average of 2 people diagnosed each week and well over 300 people living with the condition.

Emirates Team New Zealand have first-hand experience witnessing the devastation of MND through team mate and former Emirates Team New Zealand Director and current Director of America’s Cup Event Ltd (ACE) Greg Horton.

“Greg has been and continues to be an undeniable inspiration to the team while fighting MND” said Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton.

“Whilst the disease is having a devastating effect on him physically he has always remained so strong and optimistic despite his personal hardship, he contributed to our success in winning the Cup in Bermuda, and he still manages to undertake his vital role towards the planning for the 36th America’s Cup in 2021.”

Greg is also a member of the National Council of the not-for-profit charity MND New Zealand which supports people living with MND, their family and carers and health professionals to enable them to have the best quality of life possible.

“MND New Zealand is a vital part of the support network for those with MND and their families. Emirates Team New Zealand put its hand up early after my diagnosis with team members offering support to me and my family in any way possible, and it is great to formalise a broader support basis today with Emirates Team New Zealand coming on board as our charity partner.” explained Horton.

MND New Zealand General Manager Carl Sunderland says it is a huge honour to be the Official Charity of Emirates Team New Zealand.

“We rely almost completely on the generosity of the New Zealand community to continue to provide free, personalised support to people living with MND, their carers and families and this partnership will help raise awareness of this devastating disease and the vital work we do.”

MND New Zealand also proudly funds vital research at the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland and supports the latest genetics study led by Dr. Emma Scotter.

“MND New Zealand. Together with the Royal Society of NZ and several generous kiwi organisations and families, fund our research into the causes and possible cures of MND. Although the brain tissues of New Zealanders who die from MND show the expected signs of the disease, our research has uncovered a higher rate of MND in New Zealand than in the rest of the world. Our next step is a nationwide genetics study, also supported by MND New Zealand, to determine if our high rates relate to unique genetic factors in New Zealanders.” Said Dr Scotter.

As part of its support for MND New Zealand, Emirates Team New Zealand is giving MND New Zealand a full immersion day at Emirates Team New Zealand as an auction item to be auctioned off at The Grocery Charity Ball in September.

“Through Greg you can see the amazing work MND New Zealand do for the 300+ New Zealanders that are living with MND so we are really proud to be supporting them and everything they do” concluded Grant Dalton.

To make a donation to help MND New Zealand, please go to www.mnd.org.nz

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