Margaret Schubert is one of the eager adventurers taking part. She will be trekking 50km over five days across the beautiful Fraser Island, to help raise vital funds for life-changing MS research.
Margaret has been living with MS for 25 years and was diagnosed in May 1996. She experienced her first symptoms in April that same year, after waking up with severe pins and needles in her legs and having difficulties walking. Margaret went to see a specialist, who unfortunately at the time confused her MS with another autoimmune disease with similar characteristics to MS.
Following the consultation, Margaret’s symptoms grew – she completely lost her small motor skills and experienced extreme fatigue and pain in her arms. Margaret went back to the doctor and got a referral to a neurologist, who booked her in for an MRI and spinal lumber puncture, which led to the confirmation of her MS diagnosis.
“I was experiencing new symptoms every week, and then I lost sight in my left eye in March 1997. In October 1997, I also lost sight in my right eye – at this stage I was legally blind.”
Despite now being colour blind and as Margaret describes it, seeing through a constant light fog all the time, her sight and fatigue has improved significantly thanks to the advancements in MS research and available treatments.
That’s why Margaret decided to join the Fraser Island trek.
“I was motivated to join the trek because I have firsthand benefitted from MS research and am feeling reasonably fit.”
With two months left until Margaret sets off for the trek, she is excited to explore Fraser Island with her youngest daughter Jodie. It will also be Margaret’s second time on the world’s largest sand island, having visited for half a day back in 1983. She has been wanting to revisit ever since!
“I am so grateful I am fit enough to do this. I’m looking forward to taking on this challenge with my daughter and other MS research fundraisers, spending time in nature, swimming in the lakes and learning the history of the island.”
The fluctuating COVID-19 environment and unfortunate bushfires last year meant fundraising has been challenging for Margaret and her daughter Jodie. Margaret and Jodie however did not give up! They have been creative with their fundraising and their persistence has paid off! Thanks to their incredibly supportive community of Woodside in the Adelaide Hills, Margaret and Jodie have both surpassed their fundraising goals of $3,000, collectively raising an amazing $7,345 for life-changing MS research so far.
How did she do it? Margaret and her daughters potted up succulents to sell, alongside holding a raffle. The first prize for the raffle was a luxury 5-course dinner at a local winery (donated by the winery itself, Pike & Joyce), with pick-up and drop off in a 1996 Rolls-Royce kindly offered by a member of Margaret’s peer support group.
Margaret’s advice on fundraising is simple – “Talk to everyone young and old about what you are doing and why you are passionate about MS research. Be friendly and generally people are friendly back. People offer their help if they can.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Thank you, Margaret – your commitment to raising funds for vital MS research is nothing short of inspirational. We can’t wait for you to revisit Fraser Island and explore all its diverse landscape and wildlife.
Want to join Margaret on this once in a lifetime adventure to Fraser Island? It’s not too late!
Find out more information about the trek here or sign up here to explore the world’s largest sand island this September. If you have any questions, please contact the Kiss Goodbye to MS team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 785 717.