La Trobe University community rallies behind the Big Freeze

The La Trobe University community has joined together to raise just under $3,000 in the fight against Motor Neurone Disease (MND) by taking part in last week’s La Trobe University Big Freeze event.

Cheered on by a large crowd at the Indoor Sports Centre on the Bundoora Campus, a mix of 18 La Trobe University staff members, students and industry partners took the plunge into icy waters to raise funds for the important cause.

The LTU Big Freeze was held in conjunction with the Semester 2 Orientation Welcome Event at the Indoor Sports Centre, which saw new students interact with and learn about a variety of La Trobe Sport programs, affiliated sport clubs and society groups who had set up welcome stalls inside the Indoor Sports Centre Fieldhouse.

MND is a condition that affects the brain and nerves. The horrible and debilitating disease gradually takes away the patient’s use of their arms and legs, their ability to eat and swallow, their speech and ultimately their ability to breathe, all in an average timeframe of just 27 months.

This disease has taken many lives, including a family member of La Trobe Sport staff member and event organiser, Sarah Pavano, who thanked the La Trobe University community for giving so generously.

“I wanted La Trobe to do something to help the community and really reach out and give back,” Pavano said.

“It’s been great having the team here and working closely with them to help me grow, so now for them to help me grow the Big Freeze MND event here at La Trobe and having their support means a lot.”

In addition to members within the La Trobe University community, the event received amazing support from La Trobe sport industry partner, the Melbourne Rebels, with the organisation’s CEO Baden Stephenson and players Lachie Anderson and Tamati Ioane joining the fight against MND by taking the plunge.

“La Trobe University is obviously a long-term commercial partner of the club, and a huge part of our culture is love and connection,” Stephenson explained.

“This fundraiser was for Sarah who has been one of our interns and she is one of our family, so of course we wanted to come out and support her.”

On behalf of the entire University, La Trobe Sport would like to thank everyone who donated to the Big Freeze campaign for their generous donations and their wonderful support of the event on the day.

If you are in a position to support the La Trobe University Big Freeze campaign, it is not too late to donate! Click here to join the fight against MND.