'can't hide' | 

Charlie Bird admits he is ‘crying non-stop’ in emotional health update

The veteran broadcaster continues to share his journey with motor neurone disease with supporters online, even as his condition deteriorates

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

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Charlie Bird (73) has admitted he can no longer “hide” the fact he is “crying non-stop” in an emotional health update.

The veteran broadcaster continues to share his journey with motor neurone disease with supporters online, even as his condition deteriorates.

"I can’t hide anymore where ever I am in my journey I am crying non-stop,” Charlie wrote on Twitter.

"I am not going to give in, I am going to keep fighting to extend the hand of friendship to people in dark places.

"But crying non-stop is so awful. A big hug for all the support.”

Charlie has long been open about his degenerative health condition, recently revealing that he is unsure how much longer he will remain mobile.

"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.

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

"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.”

The former RTÉ journalist has also asked supporters to light a candle to commemorate the anniversary of his climb to the top of Croagh Patrick.

Last April, the Climb with Charlie event raised €3.5 million for Pieta House and the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.

In a video message shared with his adored dog Tiger on his lap, Charlie said: “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, April 1, or Sunday 2, 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.

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