Photo © Liam Smith
When Liz Hilland from Country Durham found out she had multiple sclerosis in 1999 she knew very little about it and feared it was an end to the life she knew. Since then she become involved in raising funds and awareness to help others understand more about MS and show that life goes on after diagnosis. Last year she took part in a zip slide from the Tyne Bridge as part of our Be Bold in Blue campaign.
When I was first told I had MS I’d never heard anything about it. I thought that was it. I had a one-year-old and a three-year-old and I thought my life was over.
I wanted to fundraise to raise awareness that you can still be positive. I didn’t want people in the same situation as me thinking it was the end – it’s not.
The first thing I did was a collection in a supermarket dressed as Santa, shaking a bucket. Various people were coming up to me, tearful and completely taken aback that I had MS too.
I work full-time in the entertainment department at Sainsbury’s and they have been really good since my diagnosis. Last MS Awareness Week I got everyone in my department to wear MS Trust T-shirts as part of the Be Bold in Blue campaign. We had wristbands and pin badges on the counters with collection boxes. An MS specialist nurse came up to me in the store and said “I’m so pleased about what you’re doing”. I had been trying to get in touch with an MS nurse so I took her number and I’m seeing her now!
Last year I took part in a zip slide off the Tyne Bridge to raise funds for the MS Trust. I don’t know why I did it – it was so high! The man said “Don’t look over the bridge,” so of course I looked over. I kept thinking “sponsor money, sponsor money, sponsor money…” I screamed from the second I jumped off until they told me I’d finished! It was a really good day, people loved it.
Sometimes I push myself too hard so this year I’m going to take it a bit easier and do nice things like cake sales and helping out at the MS Trust’s zip slide event. Both my daughters are doing it and I’m really looking forward to it. Some of my friends and colleagues are taking part and one of them has already raised £400.
For this year’s MS Awareness Week, Be Bold in Blue goes large!
This year’s MS Awareness Week takes place from 28 April to 4 May and we hope that lots of you will get involved. MS Awareness Week gives us all a chance to help others understand what it means to live with MS. Any activities you can arrange locally or online will help us to reach out to more people who could benefit from our support.
Once again we’re running our Be Bold in Blue fundraising campaign and we can provide you with ideas and materials to support you in whatever you choose to do.
This year we’re also introducing Be Bold in Blue Goes Large which gives you a chance to really think big and plan a fundraising and awareness event on a larger scale. The money you raise will help us continue to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information about MS through our website, publications and enquiry service.
Sponsored zip slide in Newcastle
For the MS Trust’s own Be Bold in Blue Goes Large, we’re organising a sponsored zip slide in Newcastle across the River Tyne on Saturday 10 May. Visit our zip slide pages or get in touch on 01462 476707 to find out how you can take part. Keep an eye on our MS Awareness Week website for all the latest updates and information.
There are loads of ways you can get involved and support our work helping everyone affected by MS. Here are just a few ideas. Find out more on our fundraising pages.
London to Paris cycle ride
Join our team for this classic cycle challenge connecting two stylish capital cities. Various dates available between May and September.
DFIC Super Hero Run
Fancy dress 5K or 10K fun run in London’s Regent’s Park on 18 May. Join our team of super heroes for this accessible family event.
British 10K London Run
Wear your MS Trust T-shirt with pride and run 10K through the streets of London alongside 25,000 others on 13 July.
Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100
Cycle 100 miles along closed roads on 10 August, following a route from the London 2012 Olympics.
Bupa Great North Run
Run the famous 13.1 miles from Newcastle to the coast at South Shields on 7 September, in the world’s biggest half marathon.