Sheila Downey

2023 Melbourne MS Walk Run + Roll

Our daughter (Catherine)'s story ... why we fund raise for MS

It’s been almost two years since Catherine’s life changed completely as she knew it, when she was diagnosed with MS.

Catherine’s diagnosis came as a massive shock to her and her family, and – just like many others who have been in the same situation, was an “incredibly emotional” time for everyone.

“As a kid all I knew about MS was that it was a scary and debilitating disease.”

Aside from her participation in the MS Readathon in primary school, Catherine and her family didn’t know much about multiple sclerosis.

However, thanks to Catherine’s helpful medical specialists, they helped ease her worries – taking the time to explain the true impact of MS with the array of modern treatments available thanks to research, and reassuring Catherine that she could still lead a normal life.

Catherine experienced significant deterioration in her vision, as well as weakness in her left arm and leg. The decline in Catherine’s vision led her to take time off from work, and the need for her parents to live with her to assist with her day to day.

Since then, Catherine’s journey has been filled with highs and lows, describing it as being “a tumultuous time dealing with fluctuating symptoms”, in addition to mentally processing what the diagnosis means to her.

These challenges and new chapter in Catherine’s life changed her outlook. “It has made me focus more on what I can do, rather than what I can’t.”

And one thing she can do is fundraise like the absolute boss lady she is! So far, Catherine has raised more than a whopping $10,000 to help power MS research! 

“I’m so grateful for the support of my family and friends during this difficult time. It’s also been reassuring to hear stories of other people with MS and how normal their lives are.”

In addition to her fundraising page, Catherine’s parents, Sheila and Andrew, will also be donating half of the sale proceeds from their ongoing cupcake fundraiser to further enable  Australian MS researchers to continue their invaluable work. ‘Sheila & Andrew’s Cupcakes’ donate the other half of their sale proceeds to Cancer research in support of Sheila’s own battle with cancer.

As a pharmacist, Catherine’s passion and belief in MS research is reinforced as she firsthand sees the impacts of new and improved medications every day. “There is always space for new developments, new approaches and new treatments to improve the quality of life and outcomes for individuals.”

Thanks to the advancements in medications available, her symptoms have improved significantly and she has had no more attacks. She is “pleased with every little bit of progress.” 

So, what are Catherine’s hopes and dreams for the future of people living with MS?

“I hope in the future, MS won’t be such a scary term and that through research the cause of MS will be determined, which could lead to preventative steps and hopefully eventually a cure.”

On behalf of over 25,000 Aussies living with multiple sclerosis – THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

My Achievements



Jo Rankin

Awesome job guys xx


Keith And Claire


Brooks Matched


Sheila & Andrew's Cupcakes



Rooting for you!


Susan Dunn

Thanks for delicious cakes and your generosity.


Rebecca Mcnamara


Pulse Bookkeeping Pty Ltd


Lorraine Macreadie

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