Samantha and Tori Wilson have seen first-hand the devastation of motor neurone disease, losing a family member to the degenerative disease and having a friend who has so far beaten the odds and lived with the disease for 18 years - well in excess of the average life expectancy of 2.5 years after diagnosis.
To help raise funds to fight the disease and to improve awareness, the Scarsdale mother and daughter are organising a trail riding weekend for horse lovers.
They are hoping to attract more than 60 riders and horses to their property from September 27 to 29 for a series of rides.
There's also a screening of the AFL Grand Final, Saturday night spit roast dinner and entertainment amid the rides, the longest of which is about 25km on Saturday morning.
"We have a very close family friend Steven Capon who has had MND for 18 years, which is very rare to have it that long. He's a guinea pig and had lots of biopsies to find out why he hasn't progressed so quickly, and on the other side of the scale my husband's step dad was diagnosed and lived less than six months," Mrs Wilson said.
Mrs Wilson said while awareness about MND had grown since football legend Neale Daniher had gone public with his fight against the disease and launched the Fight MND foundation, more needed to be done.
"We just wanted to try and do something for these guys and see if we can raise money to do more research."
On Friday the riders will head out for a couple of hours, but the longest ride will take place on Saturday morning when the group heads out through the tracks and forests between Scarsdale and Snake Valley for a ride of 12 to 14km to a lunch spot for a barbecue, then back in time for the AFL Grand Final.
There are more than 2000 people in Australia living with MND, and most people are diagnosed with the disease in their 50s and 60s.
Local community and businesses have been quick to get in the saddle and support the fundraising trail ride.
Local band Missbehavin have donated their services for Saturday night while Harvey Norman donated a big screen television to watch the grand final, Davis Meats have given meat for the weekend and Bylsma Hire have offered portable toilets for the campers.
Mrs Wilson said demand had been strong with dozens of riders signed up, but more were still needed to ensure the event can go ahead.
On the night before the ride, a fundraising movie screening featuring Ride Like a Girl will be held at Showbiz Cinemas at Delacombe on Thursday September 26 at 6.30pm. Tickets $15/$12 with special deals on popcorn and drink combos.
For more information on the ride or movie night, email firstname.lastname@example.org or MND Trail Ride on Facebook.
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