Sara Donaldson’s family journey with MS

Every Sunday night Sara calls her mum. During the week they text and email, but every Sunday at 5pm, like clockwork, it is mother-daughter time.

“My mum is still my biggest supporter, sharing my achievements and following me on every social platform… yes, even Snapchat. She’s the first person to let me know of any tech issues on my website, sub-edits my writing, alerts me to unanswered questions on social media. Despite her diagnosis with MS, she’s still my mum in every sense of the word.”

Sara’s mum was diagnosed with MS when she was 42 years old. Her first symptoms occurred while enjoying a holiday on Stradbroke Island with her family. Now, 10 years later, the hardest part for Sara is the difference in everyday life. Sara’s mum now rides a scooter and carefully balances her lifestyle to not leave herself exhausted.

“When we talk she tells me stories about the week, about the mischief our dog has been up to, give me an update on the neighbourhood news. I cherish this hour we spend in sync. It’s an opportunity to listen to the sound of her voice… really listen, to try and decipher how she is feeling”

When Sara was 20 she moved from Queensland to Sydney for her career. This was the hardest thing for her to deal with. Even now it remains a constant conflict, knowing she isn’t there if her mum needs her. A diagnosis with MS is a challenge for the entire family unit, and is never isolated to only the person diagnosed. Sara and her family have become stronger and formed a solid family unit. They are each other’s biggest champions, and depend on each other for everything.

Sara is committed to supporting research into MS, after watching her mum’s health and mobility gradually decline. Sara not only donated her time to Kiss Goodbye to MS to do media, photos and promotion, she is also an active fundraiser.