Ipswich Jets help Tu’u Maori in battle with MND

The Ipswich Jets' inaugural golf day for 2019 will in part, help raise funds for Jet #534 Tu’u Maori.

Maori, who captained the Jets' victorious 2015 BRL grand final team, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in February this year. 

Jets CEO Richard Hughes said the golf day at Brookwater Golf and Country Club on August 16 was "a great way to raise funds to support Tu’u and bring much needed attention and awareness to this life-threatening disease". 

Jets CEO Richard Hughes and Tu'u Maori. Photo: Ipswich Jets Media
Jets CEO Richard Hughes and Tu'u Maori. Photo: Ipswich Jets Media

“When we heard of Tu’u’s diagnosis, we knew as a club we needed to provide support to Tu’u, his partner Sally and their family," Hughes said.  

"MND is a cruel disease, it doesn’t discriminate, is rapid and has no cure.

"All funds raised on the day will be donated to Tu’u to help him on this most difficult of journeys."

Maori on his journey:  

“I was 'once' a healthy and strong rugby league player. A rugby ball was my best friend. As a child I first grabbed a rugby ball as soon as I could walk," Maori wrote.

"My love of the game has seen me play for the Richmond Bulldogs, Cronulla Sharks, Melbourne Storm and proudly represented Papua New Guinea, before settling in Brisbane and playing for the Ipswich Jets.

"Yes #IAMAJET and I played for the Ipswich Jets for six years. In 2015 I was given the great honour and privilege to captain the Ipswich Jets BRL team to the finals and won. A milestone I will never forget.

"My life is rugby league; always has been and always will be. However, in early February 2019 my life took a turn, when I was diagnosed with MND.

Tu'u Maori in action. Photo: QRL Media
Tu'u Maori in action. Photo: QRL Media

"Once I was diagnosed, my life has not been the same. I not only lost myself, I lost my job, I nearly lost my home, I lost my self confidence and I’m losing my ability to drive. I was lost in a maze where I couldn’t find my way out. My muscles were weakening and are continuing to weaken rapidly. I struggle to come to terms with my condition daily, but with the support of my family and friends I will continue to fight.

"Being part of a club that values its people like the Ipswich Jets, gives me more strength and it is of great comfort to know that even off the rugby league field the club is looking out for me and the people who support me.

"I can only ask you all for your help and join me in fighting MND and finding a cure."

For more information about the golf day, email CEO Richard Hughes at ceo@ipswichjets.com.au.