THE FightMND campaign has lost Neale Daniher's voice but not his infectious enthusiasm and determination.
The 61-year-old AFL great, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2013, was in good spirits at the launch of this year's Big Freeze fundraising event on Wednesday at the MCG.
But the disease, which has no cure, has affected Daniher's speech to the point where daughter Bec spoke on his behalf.
"Dad's going OK. MND continues to land blows against him and unfortunately this year he can no longer be the voice of the fight against MND," she said.
"It's our opportunity now to step up and take the lead on his behalf, as well as all those people that are battling MND.
"But he remains so positive and so motivated in the fight that we won't stop until we find that answer."
FightMND supports people with the disease and also funds research into a cure.
The Big Freeze returns to the MCG next month when Melbourne and Collingwood do battle in their traditional Queen's Birthday clash.
The eighth edition of the event will be held in front of an unrestricted crowd for the first time in three years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fans will march from Federation Square to the ground before the match for the first time since the route was renamed Daniher's Way in January last year.
"It's something that we've missed for the last two years and we can't wait to see it," Bec Daniher said.
"What it shows Dad is that there's an army of supporters behind him and we know out there that everyone in Australia is backing his fight."
Former Melbourne coach Daniher has revelled in the Demons' recent success, which includes last year's drought-breaking premiership in Perth and the eight-match winning streak to open the 2022 season.
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"I don't think the smile has come off his face since the Grand Final win," Bec Daniher said.
"He's very hopeful that he's going to get the (opportunity) at the MCG this year to get a replay of the Dees getting up (in the Grand Final).
"He's so excited to see them in such good form and we really hope that there's a big crowd here on the Queen's Birthday to watch the Dees get over the line."