An Ayrshire woman with multiple sclerosis (MS) walked more than 250 miles to raise money for charity.
Brooke Anderson, 23, from Irvine, was diagnosed with MS last year just weeks before her 22nd birthday.
She wasn’t able to finish a full working day due to pain and fatigue as a result of the neurological condition.
But alongside her mum Kelly, Brooke has completed a month-long walking challenge to raise more than £2,000 and awareness for MS Society Scotland.
She clocked up half-a-million steps – the equivalent of more than 250 miles – and reckons it was all the more special because her mum was by her side.
Brooke said: “The support we’ve had for our challenge and fundraising has been incredible. To have raised over £2,000 has been overwhelming.
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“I’m really close with my mum, so to be able to do this challenge with her has been really special.
“We did lots of our walks together, especially our longer ones, and we spent so much time together. Every walk, my mum was always full of laughter and let me walk at my own pace.
“I really appreciate everything my mum has done and the effort she has put into our fundraising.”
Brooke feared her MS might hamper her efforts with her right leg giving cause for concern ahead of the challenge.
She continued: “Some days of the challenge were more difficult than others. In March, I had been experiencing problems with my right leg. It felt really heavy and I was worried this could be a problem for me when walking so much.
“Thankfully, my right leg has been okay recently and didn’t flare up during the challenge.”
Brooke says she is learning to live with her condition.
“When I was diagnosed with MS,” she went on, “I was shocked. But there was also a part of me that was prepared because of the symptoms I’d been having.
“My most common MS symptoms are fatigue, muscle weakness and problems with my vision.
“Early after my diagnosis, I was really struggling with pain and fatigue and I wasn’t able to finish a full working day.
“Since starting an MS treatment in March, I have noticed my symptoms are more manageable and I’m really glad that the treatment seems to be slowing down my MS.
“I’m feeling much better in myself and I’m now able to work full-time hours again.
“My work have been so accommodating of my MS and they support me as much as possible.”
Now Brooke is encouraging others to get involved in fundraising for the charity.
“If anyone is in the position to be able to fundraise, I would definitely say go for it,” said Brooke. “The feeling I had at the end of the challenge was amazing.
“I’ve always enjoyed supporting charities but I’ve never done something where I’ve had such a close personal connection.
“Raising awareness and helping to support other people living with the condition is something that’s really important to me.”
Morna Simpkins, director of MS Society Scotland, said: “A huge congratulations to Brooke and Kelly for completing their incredible challenge and for raising over £2,000 to help stop MS.
“We’ve never been closer to stopping MS in its tracks and supporter-led challenges like this play a key role in funding research into more and better treatments for everyone affected by the condition.”
To find out more about fundraising challenges, visit https://www.mssociety.org.uk/get-involved/fundraise or email email@example.com
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