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Jonno Hennessy, Tony Ganter and Jo Boon - MND
Allsports Camp Hill partner Jonathon Hennessy, Allsports Physio founder Tony Ganter and Jo Boon.

At Allsports Physio, we don’t just think of the people we treat as patients, we come to treat them as we would our own family. Every patient’s story is different and we’re here to support them in every way we can.

Meet Jo Boon, a long-time patient of Allsports Physio in Camp Hill. She’s a trained nurse and worked alongside Allsports Physio founder Tony Ganter as a massage therapist on the football sidelines over a decade ago. Jo was diagnosed with Bulbar Motor Neuron Disease (MND) in late 2019, but in the months before had begun to notice many of the symptoms. Bulbar MND attacks the vocal and breathing apparatus, primarily causing problems with the ability to breath, speak, and swallow and affecting strength, balance, and coordination of the limbs. 

Suffering from constant muscle aches and cramps, Jo can’t walk long distances with the aid of a walker or electric wheelchair but says the effects of the disease on her mentally is hard to grapple with.

“The thought of not being there till the end for them and seeing my grandkids grow into gorgeous humans is heartbreaking and frightens the hell out of me. The thought of leaving my gorgeous husband behind is so overwhelming, and I worry about him being lonely as we are childhood sweethearts and have been together for over 38 years. He is my world and my rock, and my true soulmate. He is the one who does all those little things no one sees,” said Jo.

Every week, she visits the Camp Hill physio as part of an allied-health treatment plan, including other speech therapists, occupational therapists, and dieticians. She says she considers herself fortunate to be eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Jonathon and the Allsports Physio Camp Hill team are one small part of a multidisciplinary team working together to help provide Jo with the best clinical care possible and to help manage pain and maintain her mobility with hands-on treatment and exercise prescriptions. 

Since her diagnosis, Jo has been getting involved in raising awareness for MND. Along with her family, she has organised a gala dinner to raise funds for MND Queensland – JoJo’s Glitter Gala will be held this weekend. “My goal with this gala event is to not only raise vital funds towards research for a cure but also raise awareness. The more people that become aware, the better chance we have of finding a cure. Only people can give us a chance to save lives,” she said.

Allsports Physio is proud to support JoJo’s Glitter Gala and the auction that will help raise much-needed funds for MND Queensland and families like Jo’s, affected by motor neuron disease.

MND is a life-limiting, progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects a person’s ability to move, speak, swallow and eventually breathe. There is no known cause and no cure or effective treatments to halt the progress of the symptoms. Around 2,000 Australians are living with MND. On average, two people are diagnosed daily and tragically, two people die every day from MND. The average life expectancy from diagnosis is just 2.5 years.

MND Queensland provides quality supports and services to families impacted by MND, including information, referrals and support groups through their Advisory Service and important medical equipment and assistive technology through their equipment service to help people with MND stay independent and at home as long as possible where they belong.

Jonathan describes Jo as a wonderful, determined woman who refuses to let MND define her and is committed to spending as much time with her family making memories while she can.

“I will never ever give up the fight and will continue to be a voice and try and save lives,” Jo said.

While tickets for the JoJo’s Gala have sold out, you can still help people like Jo by making a donation to MND Queensland.