Anna Chilcott did not have a family history of multiple sclerosis, so when she was diagnosed with the disease in mid-May it came as a shock to everyone.
MS attacks the central nervous system and is the most common neurological disease in young adults.
Dr Chilcott, a general practitioner based in Hobart, started experiencing symptoms of the disease on May 3. Her diagnosis came only weeks after her first symptom, relatively quick compared to others with MS.
"When I got my symptoms I was hoping they would just disappear and when they didn't I went to my own GP and she was fantastic, she sent me straight to emergency," Dr Chilcott said.
"I had an idea what it could be ... but it was still an incredibly massive shock.
"Immediately after the results of the MRI came through I was in hospital the following day having treatment."
Before Dr Chilcott went to hospital for treatment, her symptoms were already showing signs of easing. However, future symptoms needed to be prevented if possible.
"[Steroid treatment] really affected my brain function. I wasn't able to think clearly, read or listen to music, or understand what people were saying on the television," she said.
"Treatments don't heal damage in the brain or spinal cord, but they aim to prevent progression."
Before the diagnosis, Dr Chilcott lived an active and healthy lifestyle and regularly enjoyed yoga. However, the symptoms of MS meant she lost coordination and balance in her left leg and was unable to participate in yoga.
Yet, as soon as she was able after treatment, Dr Chilcott was back in the studio doing what she loved and she counted herself lucky that was the case.
To raise awareness of MS and fundraise for research, Dr Chilcott is taking part in the 2021 MS Walk Run + Roll being held in Launceston on September 19.
"In Tasmania, we have the highest number of people diagnosed with MS diagnosis than any other state in the country," said Multiple Sclerosis Limited chief executive John Blewonski.
Dr Chilcott started with a goal of $1000 for the event, but after reaching $18,000 in a short amount of time, she upped her goal to $20,000.
"I absolutely can't believe it, people are incredibly generous," she said.
The total goal of the event was $30,000, with more than $40,000 already raised.
The event will include a 4.5 kilometre and 9.5 kilometre track, with both walking and running options available. The 4.5 kilometre track is also able to be completed by those in wheelchairs or with prams.
For more information visit mswalk.org.au/event/tas.
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