WHEN rugby league convert Greg Mosbey first joined the Border fraternity he had only one condition.
“If you want me to watch this game, you need to teach me the rules!”
Born and bred in AFL heartland, in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond, Greg, wife Debbie, of Myrtleford, and sons Matt, then 2, and Chris, 3 months, moved to the Border almost three decades ago.
By age five, Matt started playing rugby league, followed soon after by younger brothers Chris and Joel.
The code gained their respect and later Albury Thunder their hearts.
On Sunday the extended family at Greenfield Park will rally around Greg when it hosts a charity day to raise awareness about Fragile X and related disorders such as Fragile X Tremor Ataxia syndrome (FXTAS).
Greg was diagnosed five years ago with FXTAS, a neurodegenerative disease associated with male carriers of Fragile X syndrome over the age of 50.
Greg, now 56, first noticed a tremor in his finger in his late 40s, his balance was off and his carefree disposition had changed.
“My balance was not as good as it used to be,” he said.
“People were pushing my buttons in a way that would have never happened before.”
Diagnosed with FXTAS, Greg has ataxia, tremors and cognitive issues, making many daily tasks difficult.
He had to give up his job three years ago and handed in his driver’s licence in November.
“I wanted to work but I had a couple of falls and I found I couldn’t,” he said.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme has rejected his application for support.
There is no cure or treatment for FXTAS, which was often mistaken for Parkinson’s disease.
Two of Greg’s brothers – aged in their 60s – also have been diagnosed with FXTAS.
Debbie said genetic counselling revealed their male offspring wouldn’t be affected by Fragile X syndromes.
“We got three boys and that was just meant to be,” she said.
“We are lucky with the boys and their girlfriends; we’ve been blessed with the three best girls.”
On Sunday Matt, 29, Chris, 28, and Joel, 24, and their respective girlfriends Kate Raymond, Stephanie Lunt and Cassie Martin will challenge Albury Lightning in a charity match from 10.20am.
They will play in a jumper designed by Greg.
First grade and reserve grade players will also wear the charity jumpers.
Donations on the day will support the Fragile x Association of Australia or can be made at givenow.com.au/fragilex
Debbie is keen to connect with others on the Border with any FXTAS links on 0432 071 668.