AttackMND: Stephen Darby’s Battle

It’s a proud day
for myself and Rimmer, it took quite a while to set up, and a lot of hard work from a lot of people. I’m just proud to be sat here today
having launched the foundation. The diagnosis of MND for any person
and any family is horrific. I’m quite fortunate in the fact that I’ve
nearly had symptoms for three years come the new year. A third of people
who have symptoms die within a year and half of those people die within two, so it is a rapidly progressing
disease which affects people’s arms, legs, it affects the swallowing muscles,
it affects the talking muscles, and eventually affects the breathing muscles,
which is fatal. I can only imagine,
people who are diagnosed with MND who have no support, no family or friends, so right from the outset I tried to
have a positive outlook on things and we’re trying to do everything
that we can now to make a positive impact. That’s why we’ve set the foundation up
with the main three aims, of raising awareness,
supporting individuals and families and also to donate money
towards research. Its a joint foundation,
myself and Chris Rimmer, when I was diagnosed
Rimmer reached out to me through a friend of my brother’s. At that moment in time he was diagnosed
with MND for over four years and he knew what I was gonna
come up against. He’s been an absolute inspiration
for myself and we both said that we want to try
and make a make a difference and do everything we could to help, so that leads us to be sitting
here with the foundation. I’ve got to say, thanks so much. No problem. Thanks, James. It’s a heartbreaking story, so if they played
one time or 400 times for Liverpool, it doesn’t make a difference,
you played for Liverpool so that means we will never forget you. It’s playing football for the best reason
in the world. Without everyone here buying a ticket
and contributing and supporting this game and supporting the foundation,
today simply isn’t impossible. From the bottom of our hearts,
from myself, Rimmer, from the foundation,
from everyone living with MND, I’d just like to say
a massive thanks. FANS CHANT: ♫ Stephen Darby baby! ♫ Stephen Darby ohhhh. ♫ I was diagnosed in September 2018. It was a tough day,
probably your worst nightmare. I’d actually had symptoms
for nearly 18 months and the symptoms are quite subtle. They started with a little bit of hand weakness
and twitching in my arm, which then leads to twitching
all over your body. So in that 18 months
I was going through a number of tests, and with MDN there’s
not one test to lead to diagnosis, so once you’ve eliminated
every other disease or every other illness possible, then they come to the diagnosis
that it is MND. So to go through that
for over 18 months, it was tough, and to have that in the back of your mind,
that there’s a possibility it could be MND, it was a difficult period,
but no more so than when I was diagnosed. It’s something I’ll never, ever forget. I had to sit down and think of actually
what he’d just said to me. You don’t realise or think
that you’re gonna hear someone who’s close to you say those words to you, especially at such
a young age as well. We’ve grew up together,
came through the Liverpool ranks, under-9s was the first time
I think I ever met him. Come through the Academy,
won Youth Cups, Reserve League level, then went on to play in the first team
and made some experiences going to the Bernabeu away
in the Champions League, made our Champions League debut
away at PSV together, and our parents are still best friends now, we’re still best mates now as well, and it’s something, he will always
be a lifelong friend, so it’s been a long time. I broke down on the phone,
I’ll happily admit that, and he was the one on
the phone telling me everything’s going to be all right, when he was the one
who’d just been diagnosed. And that just sums up
what type of person he is, it was always about other people
and what he wanted to do, and I think within that
first minute or two, I don’t think I spoke, I think he just explained
everything that he’d been told. He just kept saying, “Listen, we’re gonna fight it together
and I want you by my side.” “We’re going to attack it
as one another and we’re gonna defeat it.” I said, “Right, mate”, and I think the first time
I spoke in the the conversation was to say, “Right, come on,
I’m right behind you, what do we need to do?” Obviously had to make my announcement
that I’d retired from football, so straight away from then
it was trying to look forward and to do everything that we can. A lot of tough phone calls,
a lot of tough conversations, and a lot of tough times, but thankfully I’ve got an amazing
wife and an amazing mum and dad and my brother Kev,
the rest of the family and friends, they’ve been incredible
and I’ve had that support there. It’s been a rollercoaster ever since but one
that I’m happy to be along with and very proud to be part of. He strove as a nine-year-old boy
to become a professional footballer for Liverpool Football Club
and he got that dream, he now has a different dream to help people
with MND and getting awareness and get a positivity out there
and find a cure for it, so all we can say is he
won’t let that stand in his way, he’s going to get out there to the world
and let people know what it is and how we can help him. ♫ Stephen Darby baby… ♫ We’ve done a sponsored walk from
Bradford City to Liverpool, calling at Bolton, because Stephen Darby played
for those two clubs. He was at Bolton with me 18 months ago, I just hit it off with him straightaway. I just thought,
“I want to do something for him.” We decided to do a walk
and we included 19 clubs, so it’s been a little bit of a
long haul for the last few days, but it’s been fantastic. Stephen himself is such
a lovely, lovely man. To see him and where he’s at at the moment, it’s sad, but he’s such a positive guy, people are out there, there’s plenty of things
going on supporting him, and he will get
all the support he needs from us. We’ve reminisced about coming
to Goodison and Anfield along the way, obviously spoke about Stephen,
who’s the important person in this. We’re there to support him, I’ve literally just spoke to
him a couple of minutes ago, we had a bit of a laugh on the telephone
and that’s his personality. He’ll keep working
hard and get through it, and we’ll be there to support him
and help him all the way. Stephen Darby is one of the best kids
I’ve ever worked with. And David Lee will vouch for that. His parents are here, I love him to bits, he’ll never walk alone,
we’ll walk with him. Thank you very much to Peter Moore
and Liverpool Football Club. You have two families –
your own family and your football family. And your football family
is just like your family; anything happens like this we all pull together,
and the support we’ve had has been fantastic. A very emotional night, but I just hope
we’ve raised a lot of money for Stephen. We’ll do whatever it takes
going forward here to help them, it’s such a a tough thing
for Stephen to go through, for his family to go through, and the
bigger the family that helps you, I think the easier it will be for him,
and we’re a big family. You can’t imagine what it would be like
to get that diagnosis and learn the ins and outs
of everything to with MND, but the work he’s done so far
is amazing and today’s a good day and a celebration of what’s
been done already. It’s just the start, I’m sure,
of more great work to come. Every time you speak
to him about it, ask him how he is, he’s great, he’s never feeling bad,
he’s always upbeat, he’s always worrying about everyone else
and how they’re feeling, so I think the support here today shows
exactly what Darbs is all about and what he means
to everyone, so any support that his
mates can give him I think you can see
everyone’s right behind him. It’s just a testament to
the sort of character he is, that he’s doing this for others
and not himself. Your first instinct is to go and
live your life, do as many things as you can, but for Darbs he just thought,
“No, I’m gonna put the word out”, for people who aren’t as fortunate as him
to get the support that he’s had, and help them,
which is just truly amazing. I think since his diagnosis the football
world has come out to show how much love and respect
he has in the game, and from a personal point of view,
he’s one of my closest friends, he’s been fantastic and we’ve shared
some fantastic moments together and we will share more
in the future as well. It will be a roller coaster, we will have our ups
and we will have our down days, but as long as we keep fighting
and stay positive, we want to show MND that we
can attack it and we can fight it, we will stick together and we will do all
we can to get that research and find that cure. It’s quite ironic, cos I never attacked
at all in my career! We had a laugh about that. But it was Rimmer, when we
came to set up the foundation, he said we’d need a hashtag or a
slogan, and #attackMND fits perfectly with the mentality that I’ve had
since I was diagnosed and also the mentality
that Rimmer’s had, he’s had a lot of battles
over the last five years, living and battling MND,
and he’s an inspiration. So Rimmer came up with the slogan and hopefully, we’re both sat here
today launching the foundation, that’s exactly what we’re doing. Hopefully the end goal will be to
find a cure sooner rather than later.

73 thoughts on “AttackMND: Stephen Darby’s Battle

  1. No pondria poner nose sustitulos para entender lo que dicen es que soy de CostaRica y nablo español y no entiendo ingles para saber lo que dicen gracias

  2. Horrific disease, my best friend's wife passed away suffering from MND. Keep fighting Stephen lad you're an inspiration to us all. YNWA.

  3. Horrific disease, I seen what it did too Fernando Ricksen and it was sad too see it destroying his body. Keep strong Stephen ♥️

  4. Not even a big Liverpool player. But he was born in and loved Liverpool fc, so the club gives him all the support. That's why Liverpool is the best club in the world.

  5. Liverpool yo necesito una beca deportiva 😭😭😭😭
    Tengo 11 años seria una promesa para su club.
    Por mi familia👪
    Soy fan y suscriptor de su club(canal) adiós

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