20 JULY 2023

"The 2023 MS Gong Ride is my 8th ride. The ride motivates me to keep fit and healthy, especially to keep on top of my type 1 diabetes. In the beginning, I didn’t know anyone with MS. I always fundraised and raised over $1,000. And then I was diagnosed with MS. This year dad will drive me to the ride and promised to ride alongside me."

Brett was just 38 years old when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. MS often strikes people in the prime of their lives and there’s no known cure.

Red Quotation Marks
I went to the doctor because I looked like I had had a stroke. My left side had gone limp, I had trouble walking in a straight line, had blurry vision, no strength, a negative EKG, and my left hand had gone spastic.

My GP referred me straight away to the neurologist.

“My neurologist gave me a course of steroids to stop everything and I had an MRI. The MRI showed lesions, including one on the back of my neck from a couple of years ago. Because I had the two lesions, that is two events, the neurologist confirmed the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.

“It was more of a relief to be diagnosed, as then I knew what I was dealing with and it was good to have an explanation of the symptoms, but then a week later I became quite sad."

Brett loves the challenge of the MS Gong Ride and is excited to be taking part alongside you this year.

Red Quotation Marks
The MS Gong Ride always made me feel good – I enjoy being with all those people cycling as a great fundraiser, but now they are riding for people like met.

“It’s great to know that MS Plus were right there if I needed them and the services of MS Plus are a phone call away."

Brett recently had MRIs done which showed no new lesions were found. He says exercise is key to managing his health.

“So, in my day-to-day life I generally try to improve something each day even if it only small. That might be stretching, exercising, dexterity or cognitive function. I have cycling and weekly meeting with my Exercise Physiologist for exercise and stretching, music and guitar for dexterity, and video game and programs for cognitive function and now, at the moment I have probably recovered about 90% of my health before diagnosis.”

Brett loves the challenge of the MS Gong Ride and the difference it’s making for people like him living with multiple sclerosis.

“Being in Rural NSW there is not much opportunity for long climbs and long descents so I love making the trip each year to test my fitness and if I was lucky enough to not get many people around me, to let the brakes off down into the National Park. It feels good to know you are having fun and raising money for a good cause.”