The sky's the limit
A Leicester woman who has had multiple sclerosis for 37 years is counting the clouds she can see from her hospital bed to raise money for MS-UK.
Rhona Kingett, 55, wanted to help raise money for MS-UK after the charity helped support her over the years with her illness.
Last year she took part in MS-UK’s annual fundraising event, my MS Marathon, which sees people all over the UK set their own challenge around the number 26 – the number of miles in a traditional marathon. “I set myself the challenge of doing my physiotherapy exercises for 26 days running and I raised £580,” she says.
This year, Rhona was unfortunately hospitalised with an infection and confined to a bed. “I looked around the room and there seemed to be very little that I would be able to do to take part in the virtual marathon,” she explains. “Then I looked out of the window. I’m a few floors up so I couldn’t see anything except the sky and clouds. And there it was, my challenge staring me in the face! I would learn the names of 26 clouds!”
MS can often cause cognition problems, so this was no mean feat. “I decided that I’d need to learn a little bit about each cloud type too so I could give a talk about the things I’d learnt. If I was out of hospital in time, I’d give a live talk. If I was still stuck in bed, I’d do a video talk.
“I was so pleased with the idea at first. But as I carried out my research on my smartphone I realised how much I’d taken on. The names were almost all in Latin – gulp. I’d not done anything much with Latin since I left school.
“But I was determined, and I’ve already got money on my MS-UK JustGiving page, so here I am with almost 26 cloud names learnt and the knowledge that MS-UK have a bit more money to smash their target.”
Rhona says the challenge is helping to take her mind off her illness and hospitalisation. “The clouds have kept me grounded, if that makes sense, she says. “It means the world to me to be able to raise money for something that’s so important to me.”
Rhona’s just giving page is www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rhona-kingett2