18 APRIL 2023

Galini FotinosThis fundraising superstar has already raised an incredible $3,760 – a number that keeps growing toward her impressive $5,000 fundraising goal.

Galini is back this year for the 2023 Melbourne MS Walk Run + Roll and she’s excited to join the sense of community at the event.

“I was diagnosed with MS in 2021. It was in the midst of covid so I didn’t really have that much of a support network at the time because we were in lockdown in Melbourne.

“The first time I participated it was a really great event to get friends and family to have a little more awareness about what MS is. We had an amazing time last year and it was so great to see so many people. It was a great day out with friends and family.”

MS diagnosis typically strikes people in the prime of their lives, with the average age of diagnosis just 30 years old.

Galini was working full-time and studying full-time when her symptoms hit.

“It was quite full on to be honest. It was the day before we went into lockdown, I finished up work and went home and got pain in one of my eyes. We went out for dinner that night and the next morning I woke up and my vision in my right eye [had changed] – half of it was blurry and half was clear. I thought migraines can affect your vision. Then it got to three days and thought something is not right. I went to the hospital and went through emergency they did a bunch of tests and had a look at my eye.”

Galini was diagnosed with optic neuritis and sent for more tests.

“MS did linger in the back of my mind because my best friend was diagnosed with MS at 17. She’d had symptoms exactly the same as me.”

Her MRI showed lesions on the brain.

After a lumbar puncture Galini was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

“Due to covid restrictions, no one could come through to emergency and no one could come see me while I was in hospital. Going through all of that and being very isolated was very difficult.”

Galini lives with chronic fatigue, numbness and tingling in her arms and legs, joint pain, weakness all over her body, restless legs, chronic nausea, migraines and brain fog.

“I’ve stopped working and had to put my studies on hold because the cognitive side of things is pretty bad at the moment.”

She’s looking forward to making a big difference raising awareness and funds for vital support and services for people living with multiple sclerosis.

“I want to thank anyone and everyone who donates. It doesn’t matter how big or how small it all adds up and it really does help for people suffering with this disease. There may not be a cure yet but at least we have the support to help us get through it.”

“MS is one of those diseases that you won’t know someone necessarily has it. You might see them and they’ve forgotten your name, or they’re sluggish, it’s one of those diseases you can’t always see – it’s an internal struggle. Always spread kindness to people and never judge a book by its cover because you never know what they’re battling on the inside.”