Meet fundraising superstar Jamie.
Jamie and her team of 10, Team Strides For Hope, raised an incredible $2,420 for the 2023 Melbourne MS Walk Run + Roll.
Jamie did the 10km walk setting herself a challenge to beat her previous time.
Jamie says, “I love to walk so walking is a big thing for me because I was paralysed when I first got diagnosed. I had to learn how to walk again. Whenever I have a relapse my legs are the first thing to fail me so it’s a constant battle. My passion is to continue walking as long as I can.”
For 10 years Jamie has taken part in the MS Walk Run + Roll. She loves raising awareness and the sense of community on the day.
“It’s all about the awareness – making people understand what a day is like for someone with MS. It’s also about bringing everyone together, meeting new people and hearing their stories. Also the support is a huge thing, knowing that we don’t have to do this alone.”
“I was diagnosed 10 years ago this year. Without the donations the help that we get from MS Plus is a huge thing that wouldn’t be possible.”
One day, Jamie was at work and experienced pins and needles in her feet. She initially thought it was from sitting down too long. Within an hour the sensation had spread to her back and she started to lose mobility in her legs.
Her doctor sent her straight to hospital.
Jamie says, “The next morning I woke up in hospital and was not able to move from the waist down.”
It was a terrifying experience. It took two weeks, an MRI and a lumbar puncture and Jamie was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
“I had a lesion on my spine and lesions on my brain.”
She was just 27 years old.
“[It was] the prime of my life and everything changed in my life from that day onwards.”
Day to day, Jamie lives with pain, right-side weakness, foot drop, debilitating fatigue and peripheral double vision.
Jamie knows first hand the difference fundraising for the MS Walk Run + Roll makes.
“I just have to pickup the phone and someone is there. It’s not starting from scratch every time.”
“I have an MS support worker they help me do all my planning and everything like that as well. I do therapy as well. I'm always on the website looking at what news is coming up where I can listen to doctors and what they have to say about new treatments. Being online, it means I don’t phsycially have to go and do it.”
Jamie encourages others to take the time to listen to what someone with MS has to go through on a daily basis.
“I can put a smile on my face every day but it doesn’t mean that I'm not in pain.”
“I always say that MS can be an invisible disease you may look okay on the outside but on the inside is where it’s hurting. If you do have the opportunity, its one day a year to make a donation and come and join us in a great day.”