IF walking Lake Wendouree can be a challenging but rewarding exercise for most people, it is all the more so for those who have multiple sclerosis.
About 200 people took part in the first Ballarat Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Walk around the lake, on Saturday, including more than a few who have the condition which attacks the nervous system.
The walk was organised by Elizabeth Schefferly, a nurse at Ballarat Health Services who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis two years ago.
“I am so passionate about a positive lifestyle for people with MS,” Mrs Schefferly said.
“There might have been a couple of dozen people who have MS who took part, as well as their friends and supporters. But there were also members of the community that might have heard about the walk. It was a great result.
“We are planning to do it in March next year, and doing it bigger and better. Professor George Jelinek, who started the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis lifestyle program, will be coming next year. I think we’ve really started something here.”
Professor Jelinek has MS and lost his mother to the condition. He promotes a healthy balanced lifestyle, that includes a diet low in saturated fats, exercise and sunlight, in addition to medication, to help overcome MS.
“People manage it differently,” Mrs Schefferly says.
“Lethargy and tiredness is a major symptom but I got around the lake in about 50 minutes and I felt great. It is really important to keep your fitness up. And it is important to know having MS is not the end of the world.”