Charlie Bird’s wife, Claire opens up about his Motor Neuron Disease diagnosis; “There are terrible days where I break down and cry”

Charlie Bird
Pic: VIP Ireland

Charlie Bird’s wife, Claire has opened up about living with her husband’s recent Motor Neuron Disease diagnosis, which has life changing for the couple. Speaking with the RTE Guide she shared how after he was diagnosed last October, it has taken a while for them to come to terms with it.

She said; “There are terrible days where I break down and cry. But in those moments, I don’t want Charlie to see me.”

Continuing she added; “In the beginning, the medical people told us that we would eventually accept the diagnosis and we thought that there was no way we would. But we have accepted it. So now it’s about enjoying each other every single day.”

Charlie Bird
Pic: VIP Ireland

The former RTE broadcaster first shared his diagnosis in October of last year, and has been inundated with support since. Announcing the news on Twitter he wrote; “Recently I spoke about issues with my voice. I now know why. I have been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.”

“Thanks to all my pals for their amazing support. And the kindness from so many people. Stay safe everyone.”

Since then he has appeared on the Late Late Show to discuss his diagnosis and has vowed to climb Croagh Patrick this year alongside some other well known faces. Ryan Tubridy and Vicky Phelan have both committed to the climb as has country crooner, Daniel O’Donnell. Unfortunately, Vicki has had to pull out of the event which will take place in April, due to ill health.

Vicky Phelan, Charlie Bird

Speaking about the event Claire said that it’s been a great comfort for them both to organise it. and that all funds raised will be going to Pieta House and the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association.

“We’re enjoying planning this climb. That may seem bizarre as Charlie is terminally ill, but it is a complete distraction and also doing some good.”

She continued by sharing that she swore she would never climb the mountain again after they completed it six years ago; “It was the summer we got married. That was my first time climbing the mountain and afterwards I vowed I’d never do it again.”

Charlie added; “So everyday for me now is about extending the hand of friendship. I know that I’m fecked, I know that I’ll be gone sooner than later, but with whatever time I have left, I will be positive and I will try and do as much as I can to help others.”


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