Last week we told you about the fantastic Brokenwood Wines fundraising weekend, organised by the wonderful Fraiah McDonald. Fraiah was diagnosed with MS three years ago when she was just 24 years old. Inspired to fight after her diagnosis, Fraiah is a dedicated Kiss Goodbye to MS fundraiser. This is her story.
As with many people with MS, Fraiah’s road to diagnosis was not a straightforward one. Over the course of a week in 2014, Fraiah started to feels pins and needles from her lower back down to her thighs. After deliberating over what to do – maybe it’ll pass? – Fraiah decided that she was not going to put up with this unusual feeling. Understanding that her body wasn’t acting right, she booked an appointment with her GP. Her doctor sent her for an MRI which was inconclusive. Fraiah was then set an appointment with a neurologist.
Before she was able to attend her consultation, Fraiah was taken into hospital after suffering numbness down the left side of her face and upper body. As Fraiah lost her balance and ability to concentrate or even hold a conversation, her doctors transferred her to the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle for a full MRI and evaluation. Six weeks since her first symptoms arose, Fraiah was conclusively diagnosed with MS.
Since her diagnosis, Fraiah has had her highs and lows and has relied upon her family and friends throughout her journey. For Fraiah, there is no one person that is her greatest support, rather each important person in her life plays an important role in the support network, “My husband, Shaun, is there supporting me each and every day. He keeps me going and doesn’t let me sit around and feel sorry for myself. I obviously have good days and bad days and he is there to support me through it all. My family are a huge support and have even participated in trials as healthy participants, as they want to see a cure for this as much as I do. I think having so many positive people in my life has really helped me stay positive and not let this disease control my life.”
Fraiah is passionate about the need for funding research into MS and has seen firsthand the effects of money raised by the Kiss Goodbye to MS campaign. Fraiah has participated in a number of clinical trials and is under the care of the brilliant Professor Jeannette Lechner-Scott. MS Research Australia have been working with and funding Professor Lechner-Scott for several years. Without the funds raised by Kiss Goodbye to MS supporters, we wouldn’t be able to support the research projects that help people like Fraiah live well with MS.
Register to fundraise today to help make a difference.