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Motor Neuron Disease - Keeping Nick Going

Cause page created in the Health category by Lana Hart for Nick and Sophia Ward

  • $45,995.00 donated
  • 154 generous donors
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With Motor Neuron Disease in its final stages, Nick Ward urgently needs donations to improve the quality of his life for his young family.

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We all gave a lot on this give-a-little page late last year. Since then, there are a couple of other needs that have come up which would help out Nick as Motor Neuron Disease progresses.

If this is your first time to this page, scroll down and read Nick's story and his words of thanks.

Nick needs to use his ventilator mask, which helps him breathe, not only through the night but increasingly during daytime as well, especially after periods of talking. If he leaves home, he can't take the ventilator with him unless there is a battery pack. This makes longer outings, like medical appointments and movies, distressing and uncomfortable.

All methods of communication and entertainment, including Nick's email, text, tv, computer, and dvds, are going through his big screen in their lounge. A universal remote to control all of these, instead of asking others to change the remote for him, would make life a bit easier.

A battery pack for his ventilator and a universal remote adapted to his use will cost around $1000. Let's raise this amount to show Nick how much we understand that it's these little things that can make a big difference to his days.

Thanks so much for making a donation to Nick's page.


Nick wrote this note on 14 Nov 18:

Over recent days I’d been thinking about what to say by way of thanks. And when I sat down to write it, it all evaporated into thin air…typical!

The response to this initiative has been so tremendously positive, I felt quite overwhelmed by it, immensely grateful too but still overwhelmed. I think Sophia felt the same.

Nevertheless during the course of this illness, I’ve come to learn the importance of acceptance. Accepting change, accepting others as they are and accepting myself for who I am. So in the spirit of acceptance, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to you all for your unabashed generosity. We feel very blessed.

And specifically a massive thank you to my wonderful extended family including all my treasured friends - old (who in some cases have been in my life for over 40 years) and new and to those of you that I haven’t seen in years but have answered the call anyway. And of course the unknown or anonymous donors, what a wonderful phenomenon you are.

You’re all top notch, best in show, premium quality people – thank you for being you.

Love Nick

Follow Nick's journey on


Nick Ward, age 50, is in his final stages of Motor Neuron Disease, a neurological disorder that progressively affects the cells that control the muscles of the body.

Nick is now immobile, and operates his electric wheelchair with a finger on one hand that is not yet fully paralysed. He requires 24/7 care and is beginning to lose his ability to speak because of decreased respiratory function.

For those of us who have known Nick for a long time, we can see that this terrible disease has not affected his insights, cognition, sense of humour, or wit. Remarkably, he remains buoyant and spirited, and can throw in a sly remark or encouraging insight with surprising frequency. A recent comment was that “the reality of my disease is that I have become very focused on my immediate care.”

Unfortunately, his immediate care needs have increased substantially in a short period of time, requiring more hours of one-to-one professional caregiving. This is important to Nick and his incredible wife Sophia, who works tirelessly for her family and is responsible for the bulk of Nick’s daily care, as well as working three days a week to support the family. With their two children, ages 8 and 11, they now require significantly more professional support than the publicly-funded nursing, respite, and disability care can provide.

Your donations will be used for the direct payment of the following resources:

• Supplementing funded daily care to increase the number of hours that professional care is provided in the home. This will enable Sophia and the kids to enjoy quality time with Nick rather than providing solely everyday, practical care,

• Alternative care and treatments to bring increased comfort and support to the family, including counselling, and

• Respite care through the employment of professional caregivers at home, so that Sophia can have a break.

Together, we can bring an increased quality of life for this amazing family who have endured the very worst of health conditions, and now have a limited period of time to make the most out of an awful situation.

Please give generously to help Nick, Sophia and their kids to enjoy these next few months in the best possible way. Ngā mihi nui.

Use of funds:

1) increased number of professional caregiving in the home

2) alternative support and treatments such as family counseling, and

3) respite care for his wife Sophia.

All funds will go directly to Nick and Sophia for their discretionary use.

Page created by:

Lana Hart


I am an old friend who has recently spent time with Nick and his family in both Christchurch and Auckland. I have recently assessed their needs from a personal perspective and now consider fundraising an urgent matter for this family's well-being.

All funds raised benefit:

Nick and Sophia Ward


Funds will be paid to a verified bank account of Nick and Sophia Ward.
“Hope this little bit helps Nick! Always enjoyed hanging out with you back when we worked together.”
“Because I've witnessed another cope with this disease. Best wishes Nick and Sophia and young ones, as you do the same.”
“Wishing you all the strength and support that this world can muster and send your way.”
“You have always had the most amazing twinkle in your eyes. What a friend, son, husband, father and great man you have become. Lots and lots of love to you and the family who love you so dearly x”
“It's not much but I hope it helps. All my love to you all xx”
“I am Lisa Barry's aunt and know how much she cares for you! I know too how difficult this disease and caregiving can be. I wish you both the best in your courageous journey.”
“Lots of love to you and your family”
“Nick, It’s been a very long time since we last saw each other, but I have strong memories of how much my brother Pete and I used to enjoy staying with you and Michael. You guys had the best skateboarding gear and moves, the coolest clothes... I even recall first seeing you (or, to be fair, it might have been your brother) show us the horror of home brew acid-washed jeans! I have a particularly strong memory of bouncing on your trampoline at Waiatarua Rd in 1977, hearing you tell us about how you’d seen Star Wars 6 months before anyone else in NZ on your family’s trip to the USA and how amazing it was! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers during this very tough time. Love Hamish”
“Nick - I've loved your sharp wit and envied your charm since we were kids - and these qualities were on full display when I saw you last week after far too long. My bad. But the other thing I've always known about you - from the time we were "BFFs" at primary school - is that you set the gold standard when it comes to compassion and empathy for others. After all the mutual teasing it pains me (maybe just a little) to acknowledge this so publicly - but facts are facts. With much love and strength to you, and to your wonderful wife and family.”
“You have great courage and strength Nick. I remember well the escapades you boys had back in day, or at least the ones I heard about!! We hope James may be well enough to come to NZ in the next month or two. I know he is anxious to see you. Love to you and your family, thinking of you.”
  • $45,995.00 donated
  • 154 generous donors

$45,995 donated

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  Donate This cause page was created on 05 Nov 2018 and closes at 23:59 NZST (UTC +12:00) on 05 May 2019.

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