Today I want to introduce you to legendary Team Captain Brittany .
She led Team Christos raising $16,164 from 61 team members in 2020, and then Mighty Mildura, raising $14,610 from 53 team members in 2021.
Brittany was living away from home at boarding school when she experienced dizziness, weakness in her left leg and arm, difficulty speaking and, as the day progressed, drooping on the left side of her face. After many tests, she was finally diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at just 16 years old.
But she doesn’t let MS hold her back!
“What inspired me to take part in The May 50K was to positively and actively make a difference, move my body which in turn supports my mental and physical health, and raise awareness.”
Brittany had her second MS attack at the end of 2020 and ended up in hospital.
This time she had fewer physical symptoms, but instead her cognitive and emotional functioning were affected.
“The MS attack caused a lot of damage to my brain. I went from 3 small lesions to 24 large ones. I wanted to keep my focus on something positive, which led me to take part in The May 50K. It’s something I knew I could do – physically I was able to even if it was mentally challenging.”
“After having a major MS attack, I knew I needed to immerse myself in something that would lift my spirits. Having the support from my team filled my heart knowing so many people wanted to support the cause and have my back. I didn’t feel alone, it was as if my team were supporting me every step of the way. It was a nice way to shift my focus on what I could do, instead of the negatives.”
Her spirits were surely lifted by an amazing team that got behind her. But Brittany led the way, she truly is a fundraising SUPERSTAR and tip top Team Captain.
“I put the word out there on Facebook and Instagram and I was quite consistent. I didn’t just post one day, I posted regularly. Every time a person joined our team I posted to share that. It created a ripple effect and my team just kept growing.”
“I had family and friends from all over the world join in, in Mildura, America, Melbourne, Bendigo, Adelaide and Newcastle – it was really surreal. It was such an overwhelming feeling of gratitude, to have this amazing community of supportive people surrounding me.”
“I created an inbox with all the people in my team and I’d message regularly to let them know how much we’d raised and encourage them to post more on their Instagram and Facebook. Every time we reached a new day, ticking off more kilometres or a fundraising goal I would celebrate that achievement and motivate the team to keep going. People were so kind and supportive, and I was just so grateful.”
Her can-do attitude led to her team kicking goals two years running and making a brighter future for people living with MS.
Brittany hopes by raising awareness and understanding of MS, people without disability can become more aware and show kindness and empathy for people with disability.
“I’ve learnt to tune into my body and listen to it. When my body presents with symptoms, I know it’s my body’s way of talking to me and it might be time to rest more. I am aware of my triggers and am creating and honoring boundaries, so my body doesn’t feel stressed or overwhelmed. Physically I look really well, people might assume I’m fine but MS can be invisible. I’m the type of person to put a smile on my face, but there’s damage that’s gone on with my brain and some days are harder than others."
Brittany has been an inspiration to all of us.
Together, we’re on a mission to make MS a thing of the past.
We are just in awe of Brittany and every other legend across Australia who have all joined our movement to support vital MS research.