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Run alongside Jenna for Team MS

2nd August 2018

The MS Society SA/NT’s Westpac City-Bay fundraising team, Team MS is off to a roaring start with our team, and our total money raised, growing every day. One of our top fundraisers, Jenna has been clocking hours of training time in the lead up to the 12km run on Sunday 16 September.

This is Jenna’s first time doing a fun run of this magnitude, having participated in a 6km fun run in the past. Jenna has always been passionate about health and fitness, but her interest in running started just after she had experienced her first multiple sclerosis (MS) symptom.

A hot sensation in her leg back in 2015, led doctors to believe she may have hurt herself at the gym. She was encouraged to limit herself to walking and taking things easy. Walking then turned into jogging, which turned into running.

When the sensation started to spread and her fatigue levels began to worsen, she went back to the doctor and requested an MRI. “The reason why I asked for the MRI is because my aunty has MS, so we just wanted to rule that out as a possibility.” After being referred to a neurologist and two separate MRIs on her brain and spine, Jenna was diagnosed with Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS).

MS is a condition of the central nervous system, interfering with nerve impulses within the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. In MS, the myelin coating around nerve fibres is damaged by the immune system. CIS is the first episode of inflammatory demyelination in the central nervous system that could become MS if additional activity occurs.

After her diagnosis with CIS, and following her official diagnosis with MS last year, Jenna wanted to find a way to prevent her symptoms from developing further. This is when she started looking into dietary and nutrition, and taking a holistic approach to wellness.

“I’ve only just recently come out on Instagram and social media to say ‘this is what’s happened to me’,” Jenna says.

“I want to promote health and wellness to other young people with MS. When you tell people ‘MS’ they just have a vision of someone who can’t do much. When I first got diagnosed I was trying to look up people who might be on social media, or someone who is out there a bit more in the public eye that is young, fit and healthy.”

“Young people don’t know much about MS, there’s that stigma around it. I want to break that—just that idea in people’s heads that you are going to be unfit, unhealthy, can’t function, can’t work. I want to break that idea, and also be a bit of a role model to other people with MS.”

With still over six weeks to go until the Westpac City-Bay, Jenna has already raised over $500 to help support essential services for people living with MS, and to help fund MS research! “I had wanted to do the City-Bay for years. It’s been really rewarding, and quite exciting when you see that someone’s donated.”

To join Team MS and run alongside Jenna in the Westpac City-Bay check out the event on our website for details on how to register and start fundraising!

To help us reach our fundraising target by donating to the MS Society SA/NT, Jenna or one of our other amazing runners, visit our Team MS fundraising page.

Follow our MS Society SA/NT Events Facebook page for more updates, and fundraising and training tips.

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Run alongside Jenna for Team MS