'lifted my spirits' | 

Charlie Bird asks everyone to light a candle ‘in solidarity’ to mark his big climb

‘As long as I have a breath in my body. I’m going to continue extending the hand of friendship’

Charlie Bird relaxing listening to music with his dog Tiger at home in Ashford Co. Wicklow. Picture by Gerry Mooney

Charlie Bird makes his way to the top of Croagh Patrick. Photo by Gerry Mooney

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Charlie Bird has asked supporters for a gesture of kindness as he admitted in a video message that his “health is deteriorating.”

The former broadcaster is battling motor neurone disease and tweeted a short video message today alongside his adored dog Tiger.

"Hi from myself and Tiger, even though my health is deteriorating,” he captioned the clip.

"Yes, I am struggling now, but as long as I can I want to extend the hand of friendship to everyone. You have lifted my spirits.”

Charlie uses voice-cloning technology to speak, sitting at the table with Tiger on his lap today as he asked supporters to light a meaningful candle.

“A lot of people have been asking me how I’m going to mark the amazing day on the second of April. Well, to be very honest, while I’m still mobile, with my deteriorating health condition there is no way I could climb a mountain again.

"But, I would love to mark the occasion of our hike climb. On Saturday 1st April or Sunday 2nd, I would love if we all extended the hand of friendship and lit a candle for everyone with a terminal illness, for everyone that is in a dark place and for everyone that has a life-changing illness, the people of Ukraine.

"It would be amazing if we all lit a candle in solidarity, showing our love and support for them.

“As long as I have a breath in my body. I’m going to continue extending the hand of friendship,” he said.

Last year, Climb with Charlie raised €3.5 million euro for Pieta House and the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association, the former broadcaster said.

Charlie Bird makes his way to the top of Croagh Patrick. Photo by Gerry Mooney

He has been open about his degenerative health condition, recently revealing that he is unsure how much longer he will be mobile in an emotional tweet.

"To be honest my own situation is not great. I am no longer certain how long more I will have mobility. But I am going to continue to raise awareness for Samaritan volunteers all over the country, who every day are extending the hand of friendship for people who are in dark places.”

Charlie explained that although he will not be able to climb Croagh Patrick in April to mark the one-year anniversary, he is still preparing to celebrate the milestone later in the year.

"What is really upsetting me is that my uncontrollable crying is getting worse,” he explained.

“I don't want to be selfish, there are lots of people with terminal illnesses who are in dark places and we all need to show love and kindness to them.”


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