FOUR years ago this month, Bouldercombe's Shane Truelson was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease but his 12-year-old son Joel has managed to turn his heartache into something productive.
For the second successive year, Joel is organising a Blue Dress Day for the kids at his school, to raise awareness of MND and money to help find a cure.
With the help of his mate Noah Curtis, of Mt Morgan, whose uncle died of MND five years ago, the boys aim to raise $200 today through students' gold coin donations. Noah will take over next year when Joel goes to high school.
Joel said a lot of people were involved last year and managed to raise $182 at Bouldercombe State School, while they also received donations from outside the school.
Noah said the disease interrupted messages between the brain and muscles. "It affects a lot of the family and it takes a lot of time to get used to it," he said.
Joel said the disease had affected his father badly. "It affects everything but his head and he loses all his strength and his voicebox starts to get affected too and it's very hard," he said.
"He feels very happy when I do it (Blue Dress Day) because he never thought he would ever get this."
Joel's mother Gillian said Mr Truelson was confined to a wheelchair and the muscles in his neck and chest were starting to go, making it difficult for him to breathe and hold his head up.
"He was a carperter by trade but worked for Ergon as a supervisor at the substation," she said. "He was very active, he came off a property and went fishing all the time."
She said everyone involved was so happy the boys were taking the initiative to organise the event.
"I'm just probably a bit taken back that someone that age would even contemplate doing it," she said.
"(Noah's family) are really happy that he's going to take it on when Joel leaves, because it was quite crippling for them, they're quite a big family.
"They were very happy when Joel decided to do it."
Donations are welcome from outside parties. To contribute, contact Mrs Truelson on 0439 340 493.