Before Sophie was diagnosed with MS, she was just a regular 20-year-old finding her feet in the world, completing a double degree in management and languages.

Sophie had experienced slight tingling in her hand at around 19 years old, but because her symptoms came and went, she didn’t go to the doctor.

However, one night when taking a break from studying, Sophie went out for a run, only to return home with tingling in her feet, which became worse over the coming days.

The tingling and numbness spread, so she decided to investigate her symptoms on Google. That search suggested Sophie might have MS — the scariest option for her.

It was so scary to think about having a lifelong illness at the age of 20. I knew nothing about MS or anyone with it. I felt so alone.

Over the next three weeks she continued to experience invisible symptoms and saw many medical professionals, some of whom inferred she was imagining things.

Finally, she was diagnosed with MS, which while scary, came as a relief as all she had wanted was a definitive answer.

The actual diagnosis felt like a relief. There was a path forward, medication to take, and experts to help me. It meant I could make a plan. 

After the diagnosis, Sophie went into fight or flight mode. She decided to register with Plus Connect and ask for as much information as she could.

Sophie also registered for the peer support service, which showed her that she was not alone. Plus Connect followed up with her each month to see how she was going as well as offering assistance from MS nurses.

After speaking with the right people, I came to understand that having MS wasn't going to be the end of my life.

Since her diagnosis and two different treatments, Sophie has not had a relapse in two years. Now, she is focusing on giving back to the MS community, spreading awareness about MS on her Instagram @mssophdrum, taking part in the annual MS Walk Run + Roll and even now working at MS Plus in the events team, to engage further with the MS Community.

Along with engaging with, and supporting the MS community, Sophie continues to do the things she loves such as travelling, visiting waterholes, spending time with friends and family.

Although she will always carry MS with her, she doesn’t let her diagnosis rule her life.

I am lucky that MS doesn’t rule my life. The only main difference is I have to manage my health in a way that most people my age don’t need to.

Sophie has attended three MS Walk Run + Roll events with her family and friends. In total she has raised over $10,000 individually, and her annual team "Team Soph" has raised a total of $16,285 over the years! We asked Sophie about her top fundraising tip to help you on your fundraising journey.

Tell people the impact MS has on you. Whether you have it or someone you know has it, we all have a connection to MS and sharing that experience helps people understand the importance of fundraising.

Team Soph and team captain Sophie, will be back in attendance at the 2024 MS Walk Run + Roll, aiming to go to new heights with their fundraising.

I am so excited for the MS Walk Run + Roll this year! It is always such an incredible day and gives me an opportunity to connect with other people living with MS. The fundraising from this event truly has a huge impact on lives like mine, and making living with MS easier.