Beloved star of children’s TV shows Wombat and Agro reveals shock health diagnosis
Beloved star of kids’ TV shows Wombat and Agro’s Cartoon Connection Reveals Terminal Health Diagnosis — And The First Symptom That Made Her Realize Something Was Horribly Wrong
Fiona MacDonald is one of television’s most beloved entertainers.
Best known for her time on children’s shows Agro’s Cartoon Connection and Wombat, which dominated the airwaves in the 1980s and 1990s, the star is now battling a terminal health battle.
The TV host, who also received national attention on the silly game show It’s a Knockout, has been diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND).
She first noticed the symptoms before 2021, when she learned she had the neurological disease, which causes nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to gradually fail.
“I noticed in July that I had trouble speaking clearly, especially when I was tired,” she says The Sydney Morning Herald.
Fiona MacDonald (pictured), best known for her time on children’s shows Agro’s Cartoon Connection and Wombat, is now fighting a health battle
“I ignored this for a while, but realized it could be something sinister…everything was looked at until they finally came to the terrible conclusion that it could only be motor neuron disease,” she added.
Fiona explained that “this is not a disease for the faint hearted” explaining that the “cruel” disease is “stealing the strength of all the muscles inch by inch, until you can’t walk, can’t hold hands, can’t talk , swallow and breathe. Then you die.”
The legend embarks on a 9,000-mile drive across Australia in hopes of raising $100,000 “to support the work of neurologist Professor Dominic Rowe – a leader in his field.”
Fiona is the sister of well-known 1980s television personality Jacki MacDonald, who was best known as one of the hosts of the popular variety show Hey Hey It’s Saturday.
The TV host, who also received national attention on the silly game show It’s a Knockout, has been diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND). On the photo with Agro
The legend embarks on a 9,000-mile drive across Australia in hopes of raising $100,000 for MND research. Depicted on TV in the 1980s
Fiona, who rose to fame for appearances on shows like Good Morning Australia and Burke’s Backyard, eventually left the bright lights of television for a career in public relations.
She worked as a business development manager as well as a PR and communication manager for wine marketers Fine Wine Partners.
They managed campaigns for labels like Bollinger and Henschke Hill of Grace.
Fiona also handled PR for the Wine List of the Year Awards and Court Master of Sommeliers.
Fiona left the organization in 2015 and founded her own PR consultancy Wine Chronicles that same year.
Fiona, who rose to prominence for presenting on shows like Good Morning Australia and Burke’s Backyard, eventually left the bright lights of television for a career in public relations.
WHAT IS MOTOR NEURON DISEASE?
Motor neuron disease is caused when nerves in the brain and spinal cord — those needed for walking, speaking, and breathing — stop working properly.
As the condition progresses, patients find that all of these actions become more difficult or impossible.
It is not clear what causes the condition and there is currently no single test or cure.
But it’s thought to be related to the buildup of proteins in the brain that clump together and cause problems with moving, breathing, and thinking.
Symptoms of the condition begin gradually over weeks and months, usually on one side of the body before getting worse.
These include a weakened grip, left leg dragging, and slurred speech.
Around 5,000 people have MND in the UK at any given time.
Sufferers live an average of three to five years after they are diagnosed. Some can live up to 10 years.
Source: health service