Nyngan's Smith family have mission to tour nation after father's MND diagnosis

GOOD CAUSE: The community is raising money to help Jason Smith, Georgia Smith, Brae Smith and Anthea Smith travel Australia. Photo: CONTRIBUTED.
GOOD CAUSE: The community is raising money to help Jason Smith, Georgia Smith, Brae Smith and Anthea Smith travel Australia. Photo: CONTRIBUTED.

Well-known Nyngan High School sweethearts Jason and Anthea Smith are setting out to make memories travelling Australia with their family, following Jason’s diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease.

Mr Smith was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) - a progressive terminal neurological disease that destroys motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord – on October 31 last year.

Gradually messages from Mr Smith’s brain will stop reaching his muscles, leading to weakness and muscle wastage. 

Two or more people die from MND and more than two people are diagnosed with the disease each day in Australia.

Mrs Smith said: “It’s obviously a horrible disease and each person takes their own journey, so we just don’t know what that means for us.”

In an effort to help, friends set up a gofundme page titled ‘We’ve got you Jason’to raise money for the family to travel Australia, a goal Mr Smith was waiting for in retirement.

So far the fundraiser has reached over $34,000.

Mrs Smith said the couple was overwhelmed by the number of people who have supported them, especially those back home in Nyngan.

“My god, we’ve got some amazing, awesome friends and family back in that direction,” Mrs Smith said.

She also described the generosity received from people the couple doesn’t know.

“It is happening to Jason. He’s an electrician by trade, so his electrical community got behind him.

“But then I see people from work that I talk to in the corridor with but I’m not necessarily friends with so you think, how generous are people.

“I literally cannot get over how nice people have been to us,” Mrs Smith said.

“Our doctors, and the people around us and supporting us with the disease have been absolutely fantastic.”

Mrs Smith said she can’t thank the community enough as the money raised will allow them to enjoy making lasting memories.

A charity bowls day has been organised in Nyngan to raise money for the Smiths.

It will be held on April 21 from 4pm at the Bowling Club.