Meet the MS Community

Meet Kim

"When you're diagnosed with a chronic condition, especially one that's lifelong, I think you need to reevaluate your life - because it means that you have a condition that is going to be here for the long term and that could have impacts on many parts of your life, whether that's in your personal life, relationships or your career...

"I had to ask myself; how can I take best care of me and my health to put myself in the best position possible, so that I can manage what is perhaps a bad situation and turn it into a positive one?" 

Kim was diagnosed with MS in December 2021 at the age of 31. With no idea of what MS was, or the impact the diagnosis would have on her life, Kim reached out to MS Queensland. Since then, Kim's life has changed significantly - from taking up new hobbies to receiving NDIS access, Kim is now living the best life possible.

"I would avoid going out to events and having late nights all in a bid to protect my energy, but fast forward two years, and now that I'm on top of my condition, I'm at a point where I'm almost never at home. I'm certainly making the most of my time and I actually find that getting out and about in the community, doing things that I love and find fun actually gives me energy. I create energy and make the best of this situation."

Meet Tim

Tim's family had been riding in the MS Brissie to the Bay for years before his MS diagnosis came to light in 2016, so it was as good excuse as any to get envolved with MS Queensland to gain support and services - and to tackle the challenging 130km ride!

With his family and friends by his side, Tim is facing his journey - and his ride -  head first

"My kids are my motivation to strive everyday and not let MS shape my life. As my neurologist says - you can't let the disease manage your life."

Meet Maddie

Maddie, a 33-year-old living life on the Gold Coast with two children and a playful Frug named Dotti, is excited to share her journey as she embarks on the Ride to Fight MS.

Maddie's battle started after experiencing a strange pain in her right eye, and after four months of constant appointments, she received confirmation of what she already suspected, the diagnosis was MS. 

Since getting in touch with MS Queensland, Maddie has been able to access services like being provided with workplace support through the Employment Support Team and connecting with the NDIS. 

“From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank MS Queensland and the MS Queensland community for being such an amazing support for us through my MS journey. I have truly never felt alone.” 

Meet David

Dave Bradford is the high-spirited Team Captain of the DaVange Care Team, a group dedicated to making a difference in the fight against multiple sclerosis.

David joins the ride with his lifelong friend, Jason, and together they face adversity and tackle the 50-kilometer route.

Motivated by the spirit of the event and the impact it had on Jason, Dave founded the DaVange Team, a diverse group of individuals, some with disabilities, all united by a common cause to join the Ride to Fight MS. They now have a team of 12 participants, including Dave's dear friend and employee of DaVange Care, Sherree, who battles MS herself along with friends and family members.

“I highly encourage everyone to join in; the atmosphere is incredible. The community is warm. And crossing the finish line? It's an emotional experience with the Cheer Club and the welcome of friends and family waiting to celebrate with you. You gain as much out of it as you put in!”

Meet Tanya

As a valued member of the Queensland Police Service, Tanya's life took an unexpected turn in mid-2015 when she received a diagnosis that would change her life forever. 

Initially dismissed as routine dental concerns, Tanya's journey took a sharp turn when her dentist referred her to an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon. Little did she know this referral would set the stage for her battle against MS. Despite the challenges posed by MS, Tanya refuses to let it dictate her life. With no relapses since her diagnosis, she continues to live life to the fullest, undeterred by the uncertainties that MS may bring.

Tanya's motto certainly encapsulates her positive attitude and determination!

"You wake up every morning to fight the same demons that left you so tired the night before, and that, my love, is bravery,"

Throughout her MS journey, Tanya found invaluable support from MS Queensland. From dedicated nurses and physiotherapists to the compassionate coordination provided by the North Brisbane team, MS Queensland has been a steadfast companion on her path to resilience and wellness. 

Meet Geoff

We would like to introduce you to Geoff, the team captain of the wonderful Greensteam and one of the many individuals living with MS who needs your support, now more than ever.

Geoff was diagnosed with MS in 2012 and shortly after his diagnosis, his brother encouraged him to get involved in a MS charity cycle. This was the very beginning of the Greensteam, with just three members and a goal to make an impact. As he struggled through his first ride, each turn of the pedal was a fight for Geoff.

Geoff first joined the MS Brissie to the Bay in 2014 and has been a participant in the 100km ride every year since. For Geoff, the ride is an escape, an opportunity to focus on something positive and keeps his mind off other things going on.

“The reason I do this ride and have raised money for this ride over the years is to help others as much as I can, as one day I may also need this help.”

To date, Greensteam have raised over $260,000 for people living with MS!

“It means a lot to me to have this support and friendship of people who are taking time out of their lives to ride alongside and help support Greensteam and people living with MS.”

Meet Jenny

You may recognise Jenny’s face from past years as you’ve cycled over the finish line and are greeted by the crowd of clapping Cheer Club supporters in their red and white shirts, welcoming you back from your ride and thanking you for showing your commitment to fight MS.

Jenny was diagnosed with MS in 1973, when she was in Year 10 and just 15 years old. The muscle spasms, lack of balance and numbness made it hard to live the active life of a regular teenager. Jenny’s mum, who was a nurse herself, insisted that Jenny see her GP, where she was immediately referred to a Neurologist.

Yet, before she could see the specialist, Jenny had a severe episode- experiencing complete paralysis and blindness in both eyes. For Jenny, the next three months were spent in hospital enduring countless tests to determine the cause of her symptoms. At this time, MRI’s were not available, and Jenny had to endure three lumbar punctures before receiving her MS diagnosis. She was confused, scared and could not fathom what effect that would have on the rest of her life.

Soon after her diagnosis, Jenny began working and was employed with the same company for eleven years. She fondly refers to the business as family, rather than an employer. In 2013, Jenny’s ongoing symptoms forced her to stop working.

Today, Jenny spends most days with her wonderful husband and full-time carer; Charlie. When asked what her motivation is to keep fighting, she states:

“My husband….my husband is my motivation.”

The two have been married for over 35 years ago and still their friendship and love is evident.

Jenny is a fierce member of the MS Community, and with Charlie by her side, the pair are unstoppable!

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