21 AUGUST 2023
Meet our rider of the week Hannah.
Hannah was only 14 years old when she started suffering from multiple sclerosis symptoms.
She says that one of the hardest things about having MS is the unpredictability of the disease. On the days that are good, Hannah likes to make the most of her life. She loves spending time cycling and going for long walks with her wife, Claire and their puppy, Ziggy.
Hannah loves the sense of community with other riders on the MS Gong Ride – all for an important cause.
Hannah says, “The camaraderie has to be my absolute highlight. There's a true feeling that every one of the riders are fighting for us, against MS.
“I meet so many amazing people during the ride with many that have a story of their own personal fight, or a relative, or friend, and so many people are touched by MS which gives such wonderful drive and determination for fundraising and a massive push on the ride, especially throughout that tough climb up to the lookout.”
“When cycling along, so many say hello and give each other encouragement along the way. I am always tremendously grateful to the volunteers who without them, the event wouldn't be possible; so I always shout a big thank you and give a cheer to every volunteer along the route.”
Hannah says her MS affects her differently each day.
“It's like I wake up and start to move around to assess my body and what I will have to deal with for the coming day.”
Due to MS, Hannah experiences cognitive and memory issues, aphasia, speech difficulty, debilitating fatigue, regular falls, vision problems and chronic pain.
“MS is unrelenting; it's all day every day, and that can be physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting.
“It took me many years to deal with my internalised ableism and learn to accept and ask for help; I continue to, and always will contend with that. Invisible diseases, like MS, can be very lonely. A friend just reaching out to check in or chat, makes the world of difference to me; I withdraw when I am struggling, and these small gestures make me feel seen.”