Lauren takes to the skies for MS-UK

I started fundraising for MS-UK back in 2017 when I ran my first half marathon, a challenge I had always wanted to do. I wish I had taken part in more events and challenges before this to raise money for this great charity. There was no question as to which charity I chose when completing my half marathon registration. My Grandad lived with multiple sclerosis (MS) and all I ever knew of him physically was the impact of the disease. I guess at a young age I never understood or saw the impact of this mentally on him or other family.

The charity and their work is very close to my heart, and although this was my initial reasoning, I also have several close friends who’s parents are living with MS, all of which are amazing. Throughout all my challenges and even more with the impact of the pandemic, I really have realised how lucky and grateful I am to have my health, as well as a strong support network. My fundraising has been spurred on by knowing the impact this has on not just one person, but their friends and family. If I can find time in my schedule to help in a small way, like others, then it all contributes to a greater cause.

After running half marathons and being presented with the pandemic I took on another running challenge – the 12 runs of Christmas throughout December 2020. Even with the limitations of the pandemic, I knew there was still something I could do. I really am not a fan of running, but if it burns off the mince pies and gets the sponsorship in, then why not?

I spend time posting on my social media platforms and continuously copy and pasting links into family and friends group chats… I think they are familiar with getting links sent every six months to a year now! They know what to do! All of my friends and family have been so supportive in sponsoring all my events, sharing posts and spectating where possible.

With other commitments, training for another half marathon would have been too much of a commitment for 2021 and I fancied a new challenge! This is where I decided to sign up to my skydive. I also find that new challenges spark the interest of others when you post online, especially if others can relate to having done it themselves or relate knowing it is something they definitely would not want to do!

I absolutely loved the skydive though and it was something very different to what I had done before. Later that year I got married, and another idea, which we had seen previously and really wanted to do, was in lieu of favours make a donation to MS-UK. Half the time favours are left on the table or forgotten, and even a small gesture contributes to the greater cause. Not only this, but the awareness of the charity and the connection of the charity through me brings more awareness to people at the event.

This year I kept to the flying/adrenaline theme and took part in my wing walk! What a crazy experience. I have also been told that I am the first person to take part in one for MS-UK. I promoted this through my social media for my birthday. I figured I do not need anything and I would rather the money be used for good, rather than spent on presents I do not need.

I will have to start thinking about what my challenge for 2023 will be. I have just completed the Yorkshire three peaks challenge for another fundraiser and I am not sure whether a year is enough time to recover if I do the National three peaks next year for MS-UK. We will see. I thoroughly enjoy taking part in these challenges, as well as meeting and working with events who put everything together for everyone to take part. Thank you MS-UK for being such a great charity!

If you would like to fundraise for MS-UK, call our fundraising team on 01206 226500 today!