I organised a My MS Walk fundraiser to help researchers find treatments to benefit everyone living with MS.
I’ve been living with MS for 23 years
One morning I woke up and my right arm was numb. I thought it would improve but it didn’t. The next day, I started to lose sensation down the whole of my right side.
I was seen at A and E and the doctors suspected it could be something neurological, but further tests were needed. I was referred to a neurologist for more tests and in January 1996, my primary progressive MS was confirmed.
My work with the MS Society
I’m fortunate to have an excellent MS specialist team at my local hospital and a very supportive GP. It's very much been a partnership with them fully taking on board how I wish to be treated and supported.
Sadly, this isn't always the case for other people with MS. That’s why I decided to get involved with the MS Society and their campaigns around access to treatments, neurologists and MS nurses.
I was also involved with the development of the Stop MS Appeal - the biggest fundraiser the MS Society has ever done - to raise £100m to fund MS research. I talked about what it’s like living with MS and the massive impact it has on your life.
My MS Walk Luton
I organised My MS Walk in Luton to raise funds for the Stop MS Appeal. I wanted to see if My MS Walk would encourage my community to come together for a common cause.
To start with, I contacted one of the co-event directors of my local parkrun. This helped so much as they provided the course and volunteers to marshal it. I also found out that anyone who takes part in their local parkrun can either walk or run the course.
All I had to do was agree a date, set up a fundraising page online and a way for people to register their interest and advertise the walk on social media. The MS Society provided T-shirts and medals.
The first My MS Walk Luton was a huge success and I hope we can see it grow in the coming years. Working in partnership with my local parkrun my ambition is to run this as an annual event for as long as my community continue to support it.
Why I’m Team Stop MS
It is a pivotal time for researchers as they're discovering and understanding more and more about MS. All this costs money and this is where fundraising comes in.
By raising funds for research, the Stop MS Appeal aims to speed up this work and bring about even more treatments for people living with MS.