Kirsten Basilotta

Meet Kirsten.

She’s already raised an incredible $1,701.21 and is challenging herself to walking 150km this month.

She’s taking part with her team Made Strong to leave MS where it belongs, behind us.

Kirsten says, “The May 50K means the world to me. I find it such a great personal challenge and a great opportunity to raise awareness for a very misunderstood disease. I think the May 50k offers a lot of hope for the future for everybody living with MS and their loved ones, by raising vital funds to help further assist the development of better treatment options and ultimately in finding a cure.”

“When my Dad was diagnosed there was only one treatment option available on the market to try and slow disease progression. Fast forward 20 years or so and although the diagnosis is still horrible, the amazing advances that have come about through research and development have given me the opportunity to treat my MS more aggressively."

Kirsten was diagnosed in October 2021 after she woke up one day and couldn’t feel the right side of her face.

“As time progressed the feeling wasn’t coming back it was only getting worse. It travelled down to my collarbone, then further down the right side of my body, my mood started to change erratically, and I just started to feel really weird in myself. Something said this isn't right.”

Luckily, Kirsten was seen quickly by her neurologist. 

She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at 38 years old.

“It hit me like a tonne of bricks emotionally. Because all of a sudden I was scared of what my future was going to look like, knowing only how unpredictable MS is. It was almost like you go through a grieving process, grieving for your life prior to the diagnosis.” 

“I was pretty devastated by it.  

The following nine weeks were pretty scary for Kirsten. Her symptoms started getting progressively worse with vision issues, nausea, dizziness, mood changes, cognitive issues and numbness in her legs.  

“My symptoms just kept coming, making the initial face numbness seem so insignificant.”

Kirsten switched to a more aggressive treatment and her symptoms started to get under control, but she still lives with severe impairment when she gets exposed to hot or cold temperatures or stress. Her vision gets impaired, her moods are affected, and she experiences weakness and numbness, dizziness, brain fog, fatigue, and intermittent excruciating pain in various areas of her body.

“The brain fog is indescribable. My brain just can't keep up. It's really frustrating sitting in a meeting or talking with friends and the words just aren’t there. MS does affect me every day.”

But Kirsten is determined to not let MS stop her. She challenges herself every week in Pilates classes, building on strength, balance, and coordination, has dreams of racing a car she’s built with her partner.

Kirsten also loves exploring all nature has to offer and getting out in the garden to see what she can grow.

“A big part of The May 50K for me is getting out and exploring new beautiful places. Making sure we set up some really breathtaking walks each weekend in May. The scenery can really help to take your mind off any discomfort you are feeling, mentally and physically.”

Kirsten is also moved by the MS community banding together for The May 50K and she has a message just for you: 

“For me, I’m encouraged and so humbled seeing how many people get involved with this. Every bit of effort every kilometre walked, rolled or whatever you’re doing out there, no effort is too small. It makes you feel like you’re not alone and that people really care.”