Meet Debbi

16 Aug 2022

She’s volunteering in the 2022 MS Melbourne Run + Ride Festival as a deployment driver, driving volunteers out on course.

Debbi is also a regular donor to MS Plus and has been involved in MS events before, fundraising as part of the MS Walk Run + Roll in 2020 and virtually in 2021.

This year, she’s volunteering in the 2022 MS Melbourne Run + Ride Festival to give back to people living with multiple sclerosis, to make sure others have access to vital support and services that have helped her.

Debbi was diagnosed with MS in 2012.

“I was in a stressful job and had a migraine and half my face turned numb. My GP rushed me off for an MRI. That was the start of my journey.”

Eventually they found lesions on Debbi’s brain.

When she sought a second opinion years later, with a detailed history of her symptoms and experiences she was told it was likely she was suffering MS since her early 20s.

“I had random weird things that no one could explain. They would come and then go away. At one point both feet went numb, which was put down to the stress of starting a new job. For about three years every few months I would get gastric distress symptoms.”

Currently, Debbi experiences left side weakness and balance problems, with her leg and arm affected. She has foot drop which is exacerbated by tiredness.

“I have to be very careful about managing my fatigue.”

The most challenging aspects of living with MS day to day for Debbi is managing pain and fatigue.

“I am quite a cerebral person. I’ve always loved reading and words, and with my fatigue I forget words.”

The 2022 MS Melbourne Run + Ride Festival is raising vital funds to support people just like Debbi with a range of services available.

One service is Plus Employment Support Service.

“It’s fantastic! I got linked up with a brilliant occupational therapist. She helped me with my last job to word some things during covid that meant I could be work from home a couple of days a week permanently and get an ergonomic work setup to help manage fatigue.”

The Plus Employment Support Service helped Debbi with how to approach work regarding her multiple sclerosis and how best her employer can support her.

Debbi also accessed Plus Engagement, which helps people understand and apply for the NDIS.

Without the support, Debbi says she wouldn’t have applied for the NDIS.

“By having the support of MS Plus to apply for the NDIS and make me aware, help me and support me, I never would have applied for it. It’s actually one of the reasons I’m able to volunteer this year.”

“I never would have been able to go back to full-time work without the NDIS.”

To our fundraisers, Debbi wants to say thank you.

“I’m grateful for your support in raising funds especially for Plus Connect because of the support they provide to help people with MS to live a normal life.”

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