Can I do the Sydney to Hobart despite having Multiple Sclerosis?
I was diagnosed with MS in 2008 and thought my life was over. But of course it wasn't - I've come to understand that with the right attitude everything gets better. Now I see solutions rather than problems and have set my sights on joining the Sydney to Hobart team on board faceboat.
When I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) I was just existing rather than living. I could hardly walk and had vision problems. Since I worked in heavy industry I had income protection which supported me but I had little sense of purpose.
I'd always been a sailor through my life having sailed 16ft and 18 foot skiffs so I went to local yacht club hoping to find something positive. I met
Tony Purkiss who told me about Sailors with DisAbilities which seemed like the perfect fit for me.
After doing a test sail I joined the Northern Campaign and sailed faceboat from Gladstone to Newcastle and then thoroughly enjoyed my time helping with the Try Sail days in Newcastle. After a sail on Wot Eva I was offered the opportunity to try out for the Sydney to Hobart Team. I can't tell you how massive this is for me. A Hobart has always been on my bucket list, but after I got MS I just took it off my radar permanently - now I can't believe it could actually happen.
Focusing on Hobart has given me new focus and purpose and is giving me an even more positive attitude towards my future. I contacted MS Australia and they are right behind me helping with travelling expenses from Newcastle each week as well as other expenses. Sarah Ryan OAM, a patron of MS Australia presented me with the award this week.
I'll keep you in touch with my adventures and let you know how the lead up to the race goes. Thanks SWD and MS Australia - the future is very bright indeed!