How you can carry on Judy Antonio's legacy for MND
UPDATE: Toowoomba Regional Council has asked the community to donate to the Motor Neurone Foundation in honour of high-profile sufferer and advocate Judy Antonio.
Mrs Antonio, wife of Mayor Paul Antonio, lost her seven-year battle with the disease on Sunday night.
Diagnosed in 2009, she defied all odds to become a passionate ambassador for awareness of the incurable disease.
Despite most sufferers having an average life expectancy of two-and-a-half years, Mrs Antonio battled the condition for seven years and continued to make public appearances with Cr Antonio at functions around the region.
"Here is a disease that's 150 years old, but most people don't even know it exists," Mrs Antonio told The Chronicle in 2011.
"We can't do survivor events because there are no survivors.
"I want to make people aware of it and we need money for research."
The council took up that mantle with CEO Brian Pidgeon asking well-wishers to contribute to Mrs Antonio's work in raising awareness and funds for MND.
"Judy was a life-long resident of the Darling Downs and touched so many lives in our community," Mr Pidgeon said.
"The past few years she has been a powerful advocate for MND awareness in this region.
"When she was out and about in the community she would speak openly about the disease and what was in store for her.
"Her belief was that the more people who saw her in a wheelchair, the more they would ask what is wrong with her and then she could educate them about MND."
The Antonio family asked that residents donate to Motor Neurone Disease research in lieu of flowers and requested privacy at this time.
Donations can be made online at givenow.com.au/mndaq/donate with the option of leaving a message dedicated to Mrs Antonio such as "I would like to give this gift in memory of Judy Antonio".
Donation boxes are also available at the council's customer service centres.
MND is the name given to a group of diseases which cause the nerve cells controlling the muscles enabling people to move, speak, breathe and swallow to deteriorate.
The cost of MND in Australia was $2.37 billion in 2015.
BREAKING: Mayor Paul Antonio's wife Judy died at home last night after a seven year battle with motor neurone disease.
The Antonio family wants to thank the community for their support at this time.
As per Mrs Antonio's wishes, plans will be made to commemorate her life in a small, private family ceremony.
Cr Antonio asked residents to allow his family to grieve at this time and thanked those in advance for their thoughts and prayers.