In May over 150 people took part in Miles for MS, the MS Trust's very own distance challenge.
Individual Miles for MS challenges took place all over the UK (and the world) and together an incredible 8380 miles were covered and over £60,000 was raised for those living with MS. We caught up with some of our amazing supporters throughout their challenges in May.
We caught up with Alan at the beginning of his Miles for MS challenge ...
From my earliest years I was a keen cyclist. I took part in time trials and cycled many miles with friends. When I was first diagnosed and had to resign my employment, I cycled the Outer Hebrides from Barra to Lewis. Primary Progressive MS has now wrecked my sense of balance and my coordination. As my challenge for the Miles for MS, I have committed to cycle 100 miles in the month of May. My miles will all be gym-based, partly on a recline bike and partly on an arm bike. I am convinced that it is important for people with MS to keep physically active as a means to slow down the progression of the physical symptoms.
I have broken down my programme week into 3 days on the challenge and 4 days recovery. I am sure that most people would say that they are looking forward to finishing but as with most things, it is very satisfying to achieve an objective that you have set.
Treat the Miles for MS challenge as a model for your life with MS – KEEP GOING!
We all know that MS affects people in different ways. I wanted to help MS sufferers through the MS Trust while I was still able to do so in a physical way.
Linda took a different approach to complete the challenge...
I when I was diagnosed with SPMS 8-9 years ago I had huge issue with fatigue along with mobility problems. After a hunt for the right information I needed, I discovered the work of the MS Trust.
With some gentle persuasion I decided to pledge 25 minutes a day of walking. I chose my local supermarket as it’s smallish, safe, has flat floors and is uncluttered. Surprisingly there are also other shoppers who have approached me, telling me their experiences. We all use aids to walk. I’ve got a bright blue tri-walker but some use walking sticks. The staff in the store have been so supportive and helpful.
If anyone else is unsure about taking part I would say go for it. You may even enjoy it, as I have done.
Lisa took part to raise awareness that MS can affect teens and young people too
My advice to anyone who has a family member diagnosed with MS - keep calm! As a Mum of a recently diagnosed 19 year old, the news initially knocked me for six, even though I was expecting it. I found the information booklet from the MS Trust regarding treatments available a great help. Personally, I found huge support from 3 or 4 people who have MS - and they were all so positive. That, and a great team at the John Radcliffe Hospital helped us as a family to get everything in perspective. We can't change the diagnosis - so let’s get on and deal with it and be proactive in spreading awareness.
Lisa walked 150 miles for her Miles for MS challenge and raised over £1,500 for the MS Trust.
I am looking forward to 'spreading the word' with my Miles for MS challenge, to clocking up some miles with my friends and family and to hopefully raise as much as I can so the MS Trust can continue its's great work
Lianne and James from Mr Monkey Sox decided on doing a combo of swim, bike, run, walk to reach 500 miles...a “monkey” in Cockney rhyming slang!
Husband and wife, James and Lianne set up Mr Monkey Sox following James’ diagnosis of MS in 2016. James is a doctor and so often prescribes exercise and lifestyle change for his patients. It was whilst running that James first noticed his MS symptoms, including blurred vision, weakness and pain in his right leg. Now every sporting moment is a triumph and training in Mr Monkey Sox puts a smile on our faces! As does knowing that 50% net profits from every sale are split equally between 3 amazing MS charities, of which MS Trust is one.
We decided on doing a combo of swim, bike, run, walk to hopefully reach 500 miles...a “monkey” in Cockney rhyming slang!
At Mr Monkey Sox we really believe in staying active to help manage MS symptoms.
Vicky shares how Team Stancer completed 400 miles in May
Our challenge was to complete 400 miles between the 4 of us. I personally wanted to achieve 100 miles running/swimming, Mark and Lucy (my parents) completed 50 miles each and Josh, my brother completed 200 miles on his bike.
Taking part in this challenge this month has been really fun! We have all stepped up and out of our comfort zone in some way. Mark and Lucy has completed two 10 k races for the first time, I have done my first open water swimming and Josh has been cycling to work.
We are raising money for my best friend who was diagnosed with MS in April at the age of 26. She is the strongest, bravest and funniest girl I know so after this diagnosis I knew I wanted to challenge myself to raise the awareness and some money to help anyone living with MS.
I would totally recommend everyone to take part - its been great fun getting all my friends and family to join me on the swimming running and cycling plus the MS trust website is a great motivator to helping reach our target!
Top Tips - Do something you enjoy and with people that will motivate you. Plus always have a smile on your face!
We have all motivated each other and had the pleasure to complete many miles together throughout the month.
Charlotte completed her second Miles for MS for the MS Trust
In the past year I have noticed a number of changes - fatigue sometimes overwhelming, numbness increasing in various parts of me, the arrival of the delightful MS hug, increased pain in my limbs, increasing cog fog making me feel stupid on a regular basis and generally finding life is being made more difficult by MS. I had some very low moments when I have gone in on myself as I struggle to keep going 'normally' without letting people know that I'm at rock bottom. Then I've hit the other end of the scale when life feels good, despite the MS! I've learnt to deal with the comments of "you look fine", "I'm tired too", "my cousin, sister, great aunt has it but she's okay", "have you tried bogwort ground up in hot water as I'm sure that would cure it", "you need to just get out more"!
I took part in Miles for MS again this year, walking one mile a day, while having a new full time job and reaching a milestone birthday (50!!) Although it was more challenging this year I still managed to achieve and exceed by targets; walking 33.65 miles in total and raising over £400 in sponsorship!
An invisible illness with varying symptoms, that differs from person to person and day to day, is almost impossible to explain to people but Miles for MS helps raise awareness of this condition goes a long way in trying to make a difference.
I have MS but it doesn't have me ....as the song says from The Greatest Showman - This Is Me !
Zoe took part after being diagnosed with MS
I was diagnosed a few months ago, in April, after losing feeling in my feet. I was trying to brush it off and put it down to other things, for example, I just thought ‘I have cold feet’ and then put the heater up in my car really high.
It was when I was out running with the dog and I couldn’t really feel my feet, I started realising the whole lack of feeling was from the chest down. After being pestered by people I made myself an appointment with the physio and I got sent straight to A&E.
The diagnosis was quite a shock, but I was a bit prepared as my mum has MS and her first relapse was in her early 20's. It was always in the back of my mind.
Within a week of diagnosis, I decided to turn the news into a positive, and signed up to do the Miles for MS challenge with the MS Trust. I set myself the challenge of 26 miles throughout May. I managed to complete 27 miles!
Some days I was really struggling, so it was good that it was up to me when I completed the miles.
Rachel increased her target from last year
I took part for the first time last year as I was recently diagnosed with MS and I wanted to do something to not only raise funds but awareness too. I'm glad Miles for MS was running again this year as I enjoyed being able to do things at my pace which could be done over the period of a month. I increased my target from last year and walked around the coast and countryside.
It's an amazing feeling, knowing that you are raising money and awareness to help those with MS and it gives you a sense of achievement when you have reached your target. There is no right or wrong way to take part, it's all on your terms. You can walk, run, cycle,swim, row or a mix of all. You can choose how many miles,10 miles or 100 miles, it's down to you.
I enjoy being able to do this at my own fitness level, in my own time as there no race like feeling and the support from the fundraiser Facebook group is great. I plan to keep on doing this for many years.
I really like the flexibility that this gives everyone, as we all have our own level of fitness.
Everyone at the MS Trust would like to thank all our Miles for MS stars for taking part, raising awareness and a fantastic amount to support our work.
Join us for Miles for MS in May 2020.
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Updated NICE multiple sclerosis guideline contains some good news and some bad news
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Connors letter to MS
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In 2022, Connor will be taking part in the Great North Run to support the MS Trust. Here, Connor writes a letter to MS, openly sharing his thoughts on the condition his sister was diagnosed with at the age of 14.
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