Hundreds braved wet weather on Sunday to raise funds for the fight against motor neurone disease (MND).

The walking event Walks 2 D'Feet MND at the Regiona Sports Park attracted the Magpies football team and local mayors.

It was instigated by Napier man and former professional photographer Nathan McNabb.
The 43-year-old was diagnosed with MND four years ago after going to the doctor because of a twitch in his left arm.

He was given 10 years to live but the disease is often more aggressive - most die from it between 2 to 10 years.


"I'm going to break all the rules and go for as long as I can," he said.

There are seven battling the disease in Hawke's Bay which has a high profile in the region because former Hawke's Bay rugby star Jarrod Cunningham died from it in 2007 after a five-year battle, leaving $740,000 to form a trust benefiting the region's young sportspeople.

Trust co-chair Damon Harvey said it was a "no-brainer" to help with Sunday's 1km walk at the Regional Sports Park.

It was one of 12 Walks 2 D'Feet MND events held throughout New Zealand but its fundraising had a considerable kick start thanks to a T-shirt signed by former All Blacks and Hawke's Bay Magpies at a benefit game for Mr Cunningham in 2003.

It was auctioned at the trust's Magpies Legends dinner at McLean Park on Saturday, where the winning bid was $3800.

The bidder offered the T-shirt to the underbidder for a total amount raised of $7500.

Half the money raised by Walks 2 D'Feet MND will go to supporting MND research and the other half to MND NZ to provide support to people with MND and their carers.

Seven people suffer from MND in Hawke's Bay and hundreds nationally.