This year we’re welcoming back legendary Jackie who’s taking on the 50 km walk with you this May.  

In 2022, this legend raised $1,351.09 with her team, Team Jackie, who together fundraised an incredible $14,302.25 for MS research.

Jackie is walking the 50 km this May and she’s super excited to take part with you, The May 50K community.  

“What I love about the event is the community, there’s an awesome Facebook group with everyone that’s doing it. It's raising awareness for people like me of what MS is and trying to find some way of fixing it.” 

Jackie was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in September 2021. 

“I started having problems with my vision. I thought I had eye strain but after about 5 days I started losing my sight. I went straight to the optometrist who said, ‘You’ve got optic neuritis, go to the GP and get tested for MS’, although he said it’s not likely.” 

The GP was concerned though, and Jackie was referred to an ophthalmologist who ordered an MRI which led to her diagnosis.  

“I've got 4 lesions in my brain and a couple in my spine.” 

Jackie is grateful her treatment is working well to prevent a relapse, but her vision is permanently damaged in her right eye.  

“That one episode of optic neuritis caused permanent damage. It's like seeing through fog.” 

“So, the thing for me is I'm on a really good treatment now and 20 years ago that wouldn’t have been available. I look at raising funds so people in the research field can find further treatments or a cure. I would love to be able to see red again out of my right eye.” 

Jackie also lives with weakness on the left side of her body and nerve pain in her hip, symptoms which have come and gone over years prior to her diagnosis. Symptoms which now she knows are caused by her MS.  

"Every now and then it gets quite painful.” 

Since her diagnosis, Jackie describes the emotional experiences as a bit of a rollercoaster. 

"When I was diagnosed, I thought they’ve got good treatments now and I have a fantastic support network of family and friends. I felt like as long as I looked after myself, I’d be ok. It was very up and down though – I'd go from being totally fine about it to feeling ‘Why is this happening to me?’” 

But being the positive person she is, Jackie has let her MS motivate her to make the most of every moment. She loves travelling with her family and she’s taking charge to fight MS through The May 50K by raising life-changing funds for research into better treatments and, ultimately, finding a cure. 

“MS is a reminder you’ve only got one life so get out and live it.” 

“As a person with MS seeing all the people locally that rallied behind it and raised funds was amazing.” 

She wants you to know someone with MS is no different to anybody else.  

“We’re still the same people. We might have some additional challenges that need support but underneath it we’re exactly the same person.”  

Let’s give a round of applause for this legendary MS Warrior and wish her luck on her fundraising journey.