Charlie Bird says he "cries every day" as he struggles to cope with MND diagnosis
"I'm not dealing with it very well. I'm struggling, I know it. I will soon be dead."
Former RTE broadcaster Charlie Bird has opened up about struggling to cope with his Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis.
The reporter revealed that he had been diagnosed with the illness back in October, after experiencing issues with his voice.
In a heartbreaking interview with the RTE Guide, Charlie said that he's cried every single day since learning of his condition.
"I cry every single day. On the dark days, and there are dark days, I cry and I wish I didn’t. I feel embarrassed with people sitting opposite me but I can’t help it.
"At the moment I'm not dealing with it very well. I'm struggling, I know it. I will soon be dead."
"I won't see my grandkids grow up. I won't see them getting married. I'm leaving Claire behind and I'm leaving two daughters. This sounds mad but Tiger, my dog, has got me through this summer.
"I love that creature, but he will be alive longer than me."
Charlie has decided to use his time now to help others. He recently started creating a virtual voice bank so he will be able to communicate via tablet, if he loses his voice completely as the illness develops.
"What I want to do between now and the end is try to help others," he said. "It will be my own voice and not a computer one.
"It's not just for me, but hopefully, other people can benefit from this technology and it can help give them their voice."
The 72-year-old has been blown away by the huge amount of support he has received from the public.
"Those messages of support and goodwill lift me, telling me that my life wasn't all wasted time, that I did something with my life."
Charlie first shared the news on Twitter, addressing some problems he had been having with his voice.
"Recently I spoke about issues with my voice. I now know why. I have been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. Thanks to all my pals for their amazing support. And the kindness from so many people."