MS Readathon Launches

Almost 10,000 young readers expected to take part in the sponsored reading campaign helping people with MS

We have launched the 31st MS Readathon, entering a new era for the sponsored reading initiative. We were joined by MS ambassador Jordan Byrne, 23, who is living with MS, charity partner Leinster Rugby and young readers. A new MS Readathon character Bobby Bookworm was also introduced!!

Thanking young readers, parents, teachers and schools for their continued support, the organisation is now encouraging schools and home readers to sign up for the 31st MS Readathon. This year the campaign will run from October 12th until November 12th 2018. Please visit to find out more.

MS Readathon ambassador Jordan Byrne was diagnosed with MS on New Year’s Day 2015 at the age of 21: “I knew very little about MS at the time,” she says, “I read some terrible stories. I just didn’t know what was going to happen.”

The damage that MS causes and the nature of MS attacks are often invisible to others. Jordan suffered from constant pain and fatigue. She and her family found the support they needed from MS Ireland: “Geraldine from MS Ireland started calling around shortly after my diagnosis, to help me come to terms with things. Finally, someone understood what I was going through. MS Ireland helped me to meet other people my own age living with MS. Their support made an incredible difference.”

Jordan is positive and wishes to spread awareness for young people diagnosed with MS so that they can have someone their own age to talk to about it. She says: “I may have MS but MS has not got me."

Ava Battles, Chief Executive of MS Ireland commented: “Through 30 years of the MS Readathon and now into the 31st year, young readers, parents, teachers and schools have continued to support the MS community, reading and raising funds to help people living with MS and their families. This is greatly appreciated and as each annual MS Readathon come around, we want to acknowledge their efforts. The MS Readathon is a key annual fundraising campaign for MS Ireland.”

Ireland’s authors and illustrators continue to support the MS Readathon with encouraging tips and advice for young readers which can be found on, including Sarah Webb, Cecelia Ahern, Nicola Pierce, Catherine Doyle, Oisin McGann, Aine NiGhlinn, Ruth F Long, Erika McGann, Kieran Crowley, Chris Haughton, Claire Hennessy, Alan Nolan, Judi Curtin, Alan Early, Anna Carey, PJ Lynch, Matt Griffin, Marisa Mackle, and Pauline McLynn.

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The MS Readathon is Ireland’s biggest sponsored reading initiative when young readers raise funds for vital services to help people living with Multiple Sclerosis in local communities.

Funds raised by young readers around the country directly support vital services, for example the MS Ireland Information Line, enabling one-to-one support for those newly diagnosed, physiotherapy and exercise classes to help people with MS remain independent, and respite care.

To increase awareness about Multiple Sclerosis for young readers, people living with MS visit their local schools and talk about the complexity of the condition and the nature of relapses, or attacks when MS symptoms flare up.

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