Courageous truckie sets date for ‘Mow Down MND’ as he strives to make a difference

Veteran truckie Warren Acott, who was last year diagnosed with MND, has set the wheels in motion for his epic trip from Victoria to Canberra on a ride-on lawn mower – as he continues his push to make a difference.

Acott, 66, spent over 40 years driving a truck before being forced to give it all up.

What started as a cramp in his hand, followed by tingling up the arm were actually some of the first signs of MND.

He received the heart-breaking diagnosis in July 2023 and recently spoke to Big Rigs about his plans to take his ride-on lawn mover from his home in Toolleen, Victoria (located not far from Bendigo) to the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra.

Currently, MND is not listed as a notifiable disease. This means doctors don’t need to notify the government of new cases, so cases aren’t recorded or monitored.

The purpose of the ride is to ask the government to make MND a notifiable disease, which would mean more research could be done into the causes of it which would ultimately contribute towards finding a cure.

He will soon set off on his ride and arrive at Parliament House on Friday March 22.  

For Acott, his lawn mower has become a symbol of independence, using it as a wheelchair to get around at his property.

The mower has since had a few modifications to get it ready for the trip, including a foot pedal and swivel seat.

Acott previously told Big Rigs, It’s not a protest or a strike, I just want to try and gather 800 people and create some awareness. I want to try and get as many people involved as we can – not to follow me, but to meet me on the lawns at Parliament House – and see if they’ve got the guts to say we’re not worth funding.”

Acott is hoping to gather 20,000 signatures on a paper petition, which he can then hand over to parliament.

He will set off on his 12-day journey from Toolleen at 7.30am on March 11; making his way to Shepparton, Jerilderie, Griffith, Leeton, Wagga Wagga, Gundagai, Yass and then to Canberra.

He will be collecting signatures at each stop. Image: Aaron Boyd at Bendigo Creative

At each stop, Acott will be working to gather more signatures.

Further details on signing the petition or helping to gather signatures, can be found here.

He is also hoping 800 people will join him on the lawns of Parliament House on the day at 11am, as a representation of the 800 people who are diagnosed or lose their lives from MND in Australia each year.

Warren’s daughter is accepting donations on his behalf. Any contribution will go towards covering the costs of fuel, accommodation etc. along the way, with any remaining funds donated directly to MND Australia. To donate, please click here.

Acott has also set up a Mow Down MND Facebook page, where people can follow his journey. You can also download the itinerary here.

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