Sue, a Support Coordinator at MS Plus, is living with multiple sclerosis. She’s also mum to Maddie, who is taking on the MS Plus Ikara-Flinders Ranges Adventure next year. Maddie will fundraise to fight MS as she takes on the life-changing trek through a beautifully rugged and colourful landscape.
‘The ultimate thing about raising money for MS is finding a cure. That would be the wish list thing in my lifetime, not only to help people with MS but to find a cure. I appreciate Maddie's efforts and everybody’s efforts in raising money,’ Sue said.
Maddie, a paramedic, is taking on the Flinder’s trek in May 2023 and aims to raise $6,000 for MS Plus.
Sue’s personal experience living with multiple sclerosis also means the cause is even closer to her heart.
‘I do love my job. The important thing is I have that lived experience. I know what it’s like. People are a little bit vulnerable — it’s a scary thing to have MS. I don’t generally tell my clients that I have MS. They say: “You really get it.”’
Sue was diagnosed with MS in 2000 and has had five relapses in the past 22 years, all mostly affecting her left side. She lives with numbness in her hand, foot drop, fatigue, memory problems and experiences regular falls. Her falls have resulted in numerous fractures and, at times, a fear of leaving the house.
Sue manages her fatigue with exercise and as recently dropped an incredible 25kg in the lead up to her 60th birthday. For the numbness in her hand, Sue used the Plus Employment Support Service, to get voice recognition software on her computer to help her complete her work. For her short-term memory problems, Sue uses strategies she learned during her time working in Plus Connect that she shared with others living with MS.
‘I manage my shortcomings with brain fog and memory with strategies like diaries and notes.’
Reflecting further on her time with Plus Connect, Sue remembers the impact fundraising like Maddie’s can have on individual lives.
‘I remember a man needed a replacement battery for his wheelchair. We were able to apply for funding [through the Plus Financial Assistance Program] raised through the MS Mega Swim. We were able to fund that for him and it meant he was mobile. I’ve seen so many success stories. It makes you really proud.’
Sue’s excited to see Maddie take on the Ikara-Flinders Ranges Adventure next year. She’s proud of her daughter for committing to fundraise for vital MS services and research into better treatments and ultimately the search for a cure.
‘The Flinders Ranges are beautiful. The outback and countryside are just magical, why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that? The fundraising is a bonus.’
You can support Maddie on her MS Plus Ikara-Flinders Rangers adventure by donating today. For more information on how to join the MS Plus Ikara-Flinders Ranges Adventure in 2023 visit the Do It for MS website.
From left, Maddie, Sue and her son Michael