Ben Reilly was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in February 2020, at 36 years old.
In October 2019, Ben, a health teacher at a Perth high school, was teaching his Year 12s and found he was struggling over words and phrases. It would come and go but mainly occurred when he would speak for long periods of time. Over the next few months, he noticed other little things, like inadvertently biting his cheeks and lips, difficulty chewing and odd painless cramps in his hands. Singing felt different and he couldn’t whistle anymore.
Ben spent the summer holidays with his family – his wife of sixteen years, Emma, and their three boys, Van, Cole and Dash – taking their usual trip down south, celebrating Christmas and having barbeques. When he returned to work for staff meetings at the end of January, he quickly noticed his voice was even worse than last year and was concerned for starting classes again.
“One week in hospital, about ten different tests, and a horrific diagnosis later, I walked out with MND.” Ben describes the feeling he had upon diagnosis as ‘horror’.
“I was given a pamphlet about MND with ‘frequently asked questions’. One was ‘how long does someone live after diagnosis?’ and the answer was ‘on average, two and a half years’. NO WAY! Are you telling me I’m not going to see my three boys grow up? Like I said, absolute horror.”
As a Christian, Ben says the hope he has in God is what keeps him going. He has always countered life’s challenges with his faith, humour and positivity, and says his MND journey will be no different.
Ben and his family host the funny and inspiring YouTube channel ‘Team Reilly vs MND’, documenting his MND journey, with a heavy helping of the aforementioned humour and positivity.
“Ultimately, I want to help others with this. I’m incredibly blessed to have such support so I would love to help those who don’t. I hope I can encourage others and help strengthen those who need it. We all need help at times, I’ve received a lot, I want to do the same for others.”
Team Reilly Cap
5 Panel Pre-Curved Peak Plastic Strap
One side fits most adults
Choice of Black or Cyan/Black
"Shades" logo embroidered in white thread on front panel
"TEAM REILLY" embroidered on the side of cap