Congratulations, and an enormous thank you, to everyone who has been taking on these fundraising challenges in our name.

Now, this is a sentence I probably thought I’d never write, but first up we owe a debt of gratitude to a dog and a donkey.

A momentous walk

OK, and maybe the ‘other’ team members Jessica and Edwin who have completed a sponsored walk of 1000km in 12 days. Their journey officially started three years ago, when Jessica was diagnosed with MS and when (thinking that walking holidays may soon become a thing of the past) they decided to go on a holiday to France to walk with a donkey that summer.

That was before discovering OMS. Now, fit and well, and with Jessica relapse-free since diagnosis, they decided to give something back so they’ve done the very same walk again, from Gesnes-Le-Gandelin to Mont-Saint-Michel - this time in celebration rather than swansong. So, over 1000km and well over 1000 euros later, we say thank you to Coco the donkey, Saar the dog, and of course Jessica and Edwin. You are a truly awesome foursome.

Stuart's marathon feat

Then there’s Stuart Phelan who decided to raise money for OMS Robin Hood style. Unlike the eponymous outlaw, Stuart didn’t rob the rich, but he did run the ‘Robin Hood Marathon’ at the end of September, and he did it in the staggering time of 4 hours, 38 minutes!

I say ‘staggering’ because he took a terrible tumble around the 16-mile mark (a combination of MS fatigue and incoordination turning up to the party) which gave him a 3-inch graze on his elbow, and bruising to the knee and hip. It didn’t stop him however, although it did mean that he had to cross the finish line and spend 40 minutes in the first aid tent. After that? Some well earned ‘rehydration’ and food in the pub.

Stuart’s modest reflection on the challenge? “I guess it just proves anything is possible if you just go for it!” Stuart raised 166% of his fundraising target.

Emily's epic walk

Tackling a very similar distance, Emily Stevens opted for the furthest of the five walks to choose from as part of the Walk The Test Way challenge in early October. Raising money for OMS in recognition of her own sister’s diagnosis, she wasn’t interested in anything short of the full 25.5 miles and like Stuart, stormed straight past her own fundraising target in the process.

Congratulations, and an enormous thank you, to everyone who takes on these challenges in our name.

Amy Williams

walk running