Before the 2019 Vhi Women's Mini Marathon we sat down with Christina McDonald to talk about Team MS Ireland and why she is getting #GetActiveForMS
Last year I took on the challenge of the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon for Multiple Sclerosis Ireland and I can’t wait to take part again this year.
I was diagnosed with MS in 2016, age 26. I went to bed one night, followed my normal bedtime routine and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The next day I woke up and I experienced my first MS attack; my whole life changed in an instant.
I couldn’t control my body movements. I was paralyzed down the left side of my body and it wouldn’t move the way I wanted it to. It would even make strange movements without my permission. Long story short, I had lesions on the part of my brain that controls my voluntary body movements. This impacted my mobility and I was quickly diagnosed with MS.
When you go from being healthy one day and waking up the next not being able to move your body properly, you really do re-evaluate everything. I have experienced what it’s like to lose something that I took for granted, like walking across the room or walking down the street; now I try to make sure I never take anything for granted again.
"I face challenges with my MS on a daily basis."
Fatigue is a big symptom and it can get in the way of training and exercising.
Even at the Mini Marathon you can face struggles, especially on a warm day. Last year I saw a women taking part in the Mini Marathon in full army gear. I told my friends that’s what MS is like for me!
You feel like you have weights attached to your arms and legs, and I carry that around with me everywhere!
Taking part in the Mini Marathon means a lot of different things to me. It makes me feel proud of myself and is a way for me to celebrate my ability to be lucky enough to jog it. I am in remission, so I will make the most of it and that’s why I love taking part. I am not wasting the opportunity because one day I may not be given that luxury. I focus on the here and now, and now I am doing well, so I will jog it and if I can’t jog it, I will walk it!!
The VHI Women’s Mini Marathon can be tough and of course there are struggles, but I can’t even describe how rewarding, proud, emotional and happy you feel when you have completed the race. I cannot wait to do it again for MS Ireland this year, to represent all my fellow MSer’s and stand alongside all the other women ready to begin the race for a charity they hold close to their hearts. It really is a beautiful feeling.