28 AUGUST 2023

What does riding to fight MS actually mean?

It means you're riding to support people living with multiple sclerosis.

It means the funds you raise will help ensure people living with MS have access to the vital services they need. To ensure they're not fighting MS alone.

Multiple sclerosis is the most common neurological disease affecting young people in Australia.

Aaron Taylor rode in the MS Gong Ride because he loved to cycle. He hadn't put a huge amount of thought into what the ride actually meant, and who he was riding for...

It turned out, he was riding for his wife.


Meet Michelle Taylor.

Michelle's battle with MS began in an unbelievable way.

It all started when Michelle broke her ankle in December 2017. After it healed, she then broke it again in December 2018. After each break, she found walking very difficult.

With two young children, Michelle was relying on the help of strangers to help her get to and from her car after school drop-off.

She also had some other symptoms, that couldn't be linked to her broken ankle...

Michelle was suffering from slurred speech, blurred vision and was?unable to perform simple daily tasks such as using a pen to write a shopping list.

She eventually saw a neurologist, who suggested these symptoms were due to an auto-immune condition called?Hashimotos disease, and prescribed her a 6-month course of steroids.

A few weeks later, Michelle was taking her father to a neurologist for his own Guillain–Barré syndrome.

At this stage, the steroids hadn't been helping, so Michelle was using walking sticks to help her get around.

To her surprise her father's neurologist told Michelle he would like to check her out too...

Michelle was immediately sent for an MRI, which revealed that she had MS.

Suddenly, all the symptoms Michelle had been experiencing for the last 2 years made sense. She had put her inability to walk down to her broken ankle, but it had been the first sign of MS.

There is no cure for MS, and the symptoms are very unpredictable... which means Michelle has to take things day by day.

Some days, Michelle is unable to walk.

Her symptoms lessen and worsen depending on the week, but she is taking control and trying to live as normally as possible.

Michelle says, “I have recently started Kesimpta injections, as a more aggressive treatment for my MS. My legs and my walking, as well as fatigue, still impact me daily and quite significantly. I am working out at the gym every morning, attending pilates a few times a week and seeing my exercise physiologist weekly.”

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I have been engaging a lot recently with MS Plus and they have been an amazing resource and super helpful.

It’s epic fundraising of our MS Gong Ride participants that makes these services possible for Michelle and others living with multiple sclerosis helping them to achieve their goals and Fight MS.

This year, Michelle will be at the finish line, cheering on her husband Aaron as he rides again. Team MICH aims to take it further this year, smashing the $45,000 they raised last year with the help of sponsorship from Michelle’s gym. She trains at The Yard Gym Shellharbour.

For Aaron, the ride is personal.

Aaron was recently awarded the Spirit of the Gong Award for last year’s ride for leading Team MICH the whole way through – in communications, pulling together the team, securing matched funding and of course his epic fundraising.

To say thank you for taking on this challenge, Michelle has a message for you...

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Thank you SO much for riding to fight MS. Watching Aaron cross the finish line has taken on a new meaning for me since I was diagnosed. So this year, I'll be there, cheering EVERY rider across the finish line. Because your support means I'm not fighting this battle alone. Thank you. You're awesome!

You can follow Michelle's MS journey on her Instagram