This year has challenged Brisbane mother Lisa-Marie Parsons more than most with the 29-year old being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in April. After waking up in pain and without vision in her right eye, Lisa-Marie went through several tests and treatments for weeks before receiving her diagnosis.

“When I was diagnosed with MS, I was in shock. My shock lead to denial, not because I was concerned about having the disease, but because I didn’t have time to worry about myself. I am a wife, employee, and mother to five children.” Lisa-Marie’s sight did not return for six weeks, which meant she was unable to drive her kids to school or go to work. She was concerned she would have to adjust her life, as she found the simplest of tasks (such as walking around, watching TV or using her phone) a real struggle. “It honestly hit me hard mentally and I felt rather depressed. I couldn’t control the situation and it really stopped me in my tracks.”

Lisa-Marie is registering for the MS Moonlight Walk and in March next year she’s gathering her family and friends together to support services for MS and spread awareness for all Queenslanders living with the condition. MS Moonlight Walk takes place on 26 March 2021 at 6pm. Starting at Davies Park West End, the event offers three courses (3km, 5km or 10km walks) with all except the 10km being wheelchair accessible.

“I knew of MS but wasn’t well educated on it as I didn’t have a reason, until now. My walk with MS has only just begun, and I’m encouraging others to walk with me at MS Moonlight Walk next year to see more people understand the condition.” Registrations for the annual fundraiser by MS Queensland are opening tomorrow, with the physical event going ahead in 2021 with a COVID Safe Plan. MS Queensland’s Fundraising Events Manager, Claire Hughes, explained elements of the event have been changed to address safety.

“We’re excited to see the event return in 2021 with measures put in place to keep supporters safe. The event will see capped participants, staggered start times, additional cleaning of high use areas, and ample access to hand sanitiser throughout the course.” said Claire.

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