3 of every 4 people living with MS are women. MS attacks people in the prime of their lives, often when they are establishing careers and raising children.
People like Vanita.
Vanita joined the 2022 MS Melbourne Run + Ride Festival with a humble goal of raising $120 to help fight MS – a goal which she smashed. She raised a total of $1,001 primarily through emailing her networks and social media posts about her 50km ride on her recumbent trike.
It’s not her first fundraising event either. Vanita is a veteran of the MS Readathon, taking part yearly as a child and teen raising vital funds and awareness for people with MS and, more recently, in The May 50k with a workplace team, where they raised $3,502. Vanita describes herself as fundraising to help battle the monster that is MS in the hope for research into better treatments and, eventually, a cure.
Living with multiple sclerosis for over 20 years, in 2019 Vanita’s MS diagnosis changed to Secondary Progressive MS – a stage of MS where your disability gets steadily worse.
Day to day, Vanita lives with many symptoms of MS, from severe balance and mobility problems to difficulty finding words, urinary retention, memory problems, blurry vision, and heat & cold intolerances.
“I’ve always been very fit and active. I used to be a nurse, now I work in admin. I used to ride my bike 100kms, twice a week and I used to do triathlons even with the MS, then, all of a sudden, I couldn’t walk anymore,” Vanita says.
She uses a walking frame for mobility and is looking to use a wheelchair soon as her mobility and balance progressively become worse due to MS.
A passionate rider, Vanita plans to keep riding no matter how her MS takes hold.
“If my legs stop working, I’ll get a hand trike.”
When her MS progressed in 2019, Vanita decided life is too short to worry what other people think and made some changes in her life.
“I now dye my hair rainbow colours. I have tattoos. My walking frame is covered in ribbons and flowers and soft toys. I live every day to its fullest. Life’s too short to worry about the small stuff. I think I love my life now more that I’m disabled. I enjoy every day more than I used to as the small stuff that used to annoy me, I don’t care anymore,” she says.
Take part and fundraise in the MS Melbourne Run + Ride Festival to make sure people like Vanita get the vital support they need to live well with MS, and research into treatments and a cure continues.
Learn more about the difference your fundraising can make.