In December 2021, Kim had just recently turned 31 and was enjoying her new life in the Gold Coast after moving to sunny Queensland from cooler climes in regional Victoria. Kim was preparing to return home for the Christmas holidays when tingling in both hands created concern and it did not take long for her to recieve the diagnosis of MS.
"I didn't know anyone with MS. I was aware of multiple sclerosis through the MS Readathon but I didn't know anything about it prior to my diagnosis, which was when I had to learn very quickly."
"One of the first things that I did as soon as I got my diagnosis was I reach out to MS Queensland and I put my hand up and I said, I've got this diagnosis - What does it mean? What can I do? How can you help?"
"I remember talking to Rita, who was in the NeuroAssist Team at the time, and she took me through all of the supports and services that MS Queensland have available."
"Many times since then, I have called the NeuroAssist team to talk about my condition. Early on, it’s an overwhelming feeling that not many people can truly understand. The team were always available to listen, and I will be forever grateful to MS Queensland. "
Since connecting with MS Queensland, Kim has been able to access a range of services available to her, including specialist nursing support and NDIS access. It is all thanks to the generous fundraising and donations from the MS Community that this is made possible for people like Kim and others living with MS.
"When I was diagnosed, NDIS was one of the first services that was recommended to me, but I didn't think that I was eligible. I didn't think that I had symptoms severe enough to consider going on the NDIS"
After consulting with the MS Queensland team, Kim found that the NDIS could in fact be beneficial by allowing her to gain access to even more services and support, from regular physiotherapy to helping her continue to work full time.
Kim was granted NDIS access at the end of 2023 and is now embracing the best life possible. Between salsa dancing and going to the gym, to trapshooting and working a fulfilling job, there is seemingly nothing that will stand in Kim's way.
"The biggest difference in my life now is that I am enjoying life more than I was a year ago. I refuse to let life pass me by because of a condition"
And here's a great piece of great advice from Kim:
"Whatever it is, do it now while you can"
Kim is now a wonderful member of the MS Cheer Club and her Manager, Luke, rides in support of her and others living with MS.
"Cheer Club gives you that sense of community in MS. It (MS) can be quite isolating if you're not involved or connected to services like MS Queensland.
And for me to come to the event and have a place to go straight away with some familiar faces creates an instant connection point with other people with MS or involved in supporting MS - it is an amazing thing to be a part of."
Be sure to come and say hi to Kim when you cross the finish line!