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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

MS news from Australia - Former union boss makes MS battle public

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Broadcast: 17/03/2009 -- Reporter: Sharon O'Neill

Former Maritime Union boss John Coombs made his family’s private battle public when he went to Canberra this week to help put the case for increased federal government funding for Multiple Sclerosis research. John Coombs and his wife Gwen are the full time carers of their son Garry, who was diagnosed with MS nearly twenty years ago.


KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: Here is a story about a very personal and inspirational battle: multiple sclerosis, which afflicts 20,000 people in Australia, some of them for decades.

When John Coombs retired as head of the Maritime Union, it was assumed his biggest battles were behind him. But his retirement has been his toughest. John Coombs and his wife Gwen are the full-time carers of their son Gary, who has multiple sclerosis. Today, the former wharfies boss made his private struggle public when he went to Canberra to help put the case for increased Federal Government funding for MS research. Sharon O'Neill reports.

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