I am taking part in the 2021 MS Moonlight Walk in March, to join the fight against multiple sclerosis.
I have signed up for the MS Moonlight Walk on The Strand on Friday 26 March 2021 with the ‘MS Superwalkers’ Team!
I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in October 2020, just before my 25th birthday and it was the most terrifying and challenging event of my life. It is something very difficult to accept and try to continue on with when you feel so many emotions and difficult symptoms that interfere with everyday life.
For me it began in July last year, starting with horrible headaches and back pain. Then numbness that spread down my right leg and torso, left side of my face and even half my tongue on the left side. I felt so sick to my stomach being told something was found on my brain, that I couldn’t eat properly for weeks. Among many other challenging symptoms, I started having confusion and trouble using my left arm. I then had a course of IV steroids to try to heal my brain and spinal lesions, as well as a lumbar puncture to test for evidence of MS in my spinal fluid.
After my hospital treatment, my attack peaked and both my legs started going really numb and I had a lot of trouble walking and felt so weak. I was terrified of waking up the next day, thinking that would be the day I wouldn’t walk anymore.
I was told I couldn’t work or do my uni until I was better. I kept it a secret from as many people as I could, because I felt ashamed and that people would look at me differently.
I started a rehab program to get my strength back and just as it came to an end and I was getting better, I suddenly got worse again. Another attack. After more MRIs I was diagnosed with Relapsing and Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. I was devastated.
While I was trying to accept and understand my disease I was given a week to decide on my treatment. The possible side effects all sounded terrifying and I didn’t want to choose any of them. I was told if I didn’t chose one, I was on a very slippery slope with MS. I had very active disease activity- multiple lesions scattered on my brain and spinal cord.
At this point, I couldn’t even tie my own shoelaces because my right hand was so numb, but I was still panicking over the week of infusions that would completely kill my immune system during COVID and make me feel even sicker. But I knew I would eventually get better and it would help slow my disease progression and maybe even put me in remission for a few years.
Now, aside from chronic fatigue and a few minor symptoms, I am able to work again and I have access to so much community support as well as friends and family to help me cope. By managing my disease, my future is looking bright again.
I am so fortunate to be born in a time where MS is not the disease it once was. The thought that people in the past did not have access to the support and medicine that I do, makes me sick to my stomach. It’s because of fundraising and research that has gone into MS in the past that has given me the chance to live a fulfilling life which everyone deserves. I am so thankful for that.
In my lifetime, I would love to see a cure for MS. So when someone like me, at 24, won’t google MS after their doctor has diagnosed them and read, “There is no cure for MS” and feel the way I did.
Our walk on The Strand will raise awareness of this silent disease and hopefully some funds which will have an immediate impact, enabling people living with MS to access support services including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, counselling and symptom management. And, we’ll be helping to fund important research projects into better treatments and ultimately a cure for the disease.
If you are interested in making a donation to help fight MS, I would really appreciate the support.
Did you know:
- On average, more than 10 Australians are diagnosed with MS every week
- The average age of diagnosis is just 30 years of age.
- Three out of four Australians with MS are women
Thank you so much!!!
I want to say a MASSIVE thank you to all of you who are supporting me on my MS Moonlight walk. I am honestly so overwhelmed with how many people have decided to come to walk with me to raise awareness, shared my post on Facebook and donated to MS QLD.
When I first got my diagnosis I didn’t know anybody with MS and I felt so alone in this new, scary and unknown world. But along the way in my short journey so far, I’ve had incredible support from my family, Khyle’s family, my local MS group, and all of my friends.
I can’t believe I was scared to share my story last week. You have all made this journey so much easier and given me strength to keep pushing forward and accept my challenges. I really can see a cure coming in my lifetime with all of the generous donations you’ve made and all the awareness you are helping me raise.
Thank you so so much!!
I also have to make a big shout out to MS QLD for making this event possible, our local MS QLD team for helping me find the support I need, my local MS group with our incredible leader Kate and also my incredible neurologist, who has helped me get a life changing treatment which has set me back on a path for a fulfilling life, despite my diagnosis.
Let’s keep this ball rolling and work towards a cure!!!
Also, it’s not too late to donate to MS QLD. No donation is too small (believe me, I’m a uni student hahaha!)
Thank you to my Sponsors
Jelisha De La Cruz