As a kid and teen, I had a map of Mt Everest pinned to the ceiling, above my bed. The mountain was my life’s goal and climbing my passion. Spurred on by the accounts of others and supported by my family, I began pursuing my dream to climb mountains.
However, these dreams were severely challenged shortly after I turned 21. One day, I unexpectedly found myself extraordinarily weak, fatigued, and unwell. I became increasingly incapacitated and eventually became dependant on a motorised chair to get me around. Four years later, I was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. I was devastated.
One day, I realised that I needed to do something to change my condition. I also took a radical approach to my diet and exercise, adopting variation of the Overcoming MS lifestyle. After four years of consistent rehab/gym work and dietary help, I have reached the point of being able to tramp and climb again. In fact, I have improved so much, that there are now conflicting opinions on my diagnosis of Primary Progressive MS!
Wanting to help others with MS enjoy life outside, I now have a new goal: to help people with MS overcome the obstacles that prevent them from getting outdoors. That’s when I created the Mastering Mountains Charitable Trust.
Based in Christchurch, I love being close to the Southern Alps. When I’m not climbing or tramping, I work at Macpac as a technical writer and as a brand ambassador for Macpac, MitoQ, and Radix Nutrition. You can see some of my other work here and read a more detailed account of my journey in my book, To the Summit.