Thanks for visiting my Fundraising Page for Gold Coast Airport Marathon!
You can sponsor me and leave a message by selecting the donate button above.
Thanks for supporting our efforts in raising money for this cause!
Why are you doing it? This is the question that I think I am asked the most by family, friends and colleagues. So here is my answer:
In early 2000, while preparing for the birth of my second child, I was taken by surprise by a series of neurological problems. First starting with a bout of Optic Neuritis (inflammation in the optic nerve) resulting in the loss of vision in my right eye, this then progressed to a range of sensory issues (tingling and loss of sensation in my limbs) over the coming year.
After a plethora of Dr's, specialists, not to mention some pretty nasty tests we finally got a diagnosis. Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, whilst the diagnosis of MS was at first a relief, after all, it's better than a brain tumor. This relief was very quickly followed by a feeling of being ripped off as my husband and I were hit with the very scary reality that the life we had assumed we were going to live, was going to be very different.
Working in the healthcare industry, I had met probably more people with MS than most, but this didn't help to stop me from thinking the extreme was going to happen to me. The first few years of my diagnosis was tough, plenty of "attacks", set backs, pain, fatigue, weakness. There were plenty of times, were I was so ill or weak that I was unable to work. But that is where the bad news ends!
I don't know when it was, or even what sparked my change in mindset, I actually think that it just came out of necessity to change the way I was living my life. But suddenly a line that a corporate trainer said in one of my work situations started to resonate.
"We choose our attitude everyday - every morning when we wake up, whether we realise it or not, we make a decision about what our attitude will be, and depending on the attitude we choose, this will determine how our day ends up."
I noticed that this was so true for my situation, most mornings I woke up feeling weak and or in pain, but if I chose to get out of bed, shower, get dressed, do my makeup and basically "fake it" to myself, it did work. I am not saying I was pain-free or able to leap buildings in a single bound, but it just seemed easier to cope with all the things that needed to be done as a full-time working mum of two.
This self talk, has helped me through some really tough times, and over the past 2 years has escalated to a more focused internal dialogue that has provided me with the opportunity to do things I never dreamt possible prior to my diagnosis.
I have proven to myself that the old saying "mind over matter" really is true, don't get me wrong, I'm not a total "nut job", I do realise I can't cure my disease with my mind, but I definitely believe that I can manage its effect on me by "getting my head right".
One way I have found to do this, is by taking on challenges that previously, I thought were way beyond me, and definitely only for the fit health freaks. In my slightly delusional mind it works like this: If I can endure an event such as trekking the Kokoda Trail, or running a marathon, then wholly crap, I can definitely do the everyday things that can sometimes feel tough. It just comes down to the degree of pain you can handle, and in my mind, pain and fatigue is all relative to that which you have experienced. So some nerve pain that wakes you in the middle of the night is far easier to ignore when you know that you have run the last Kms of your first half marathon with multiple stress fractures and horrendous leg cramps and survived!
While these challenges really are for my own selfish reasons, it's a great platform to raise funds for some worthy charities. My charity of choice is the National Stem Cell Foundation.
I truly believe that the cure for MS will come from Stem Cell research, and with limited funding coming their way, it is up to us to ensure their work continues.