Jemma Barsby goes in to bat for Kiss Goodbye to MS

26 September, 2018

She’s one of the hottest talents in Australian cricket, a passionate barista and our newest Kiss Goodbye to MS Ambassador. Diagnosed at only 19 years old at the peak of her teenage years, Jemma’s diagnosis could have been a real career game changer, but Jemma didn’t let MS stop her from pursuing her dreams. 

Jemma grew up in a very sporty family, where backyard cricket quickly deepened her love and passion for the sport and Jemma’s dream of pursuing it on an elite basis. Thanks to her supportive coach and Jemma’s ability to bowl with either hand, her training began to pay off when she was only 15, as she made her elite cricketing debut for Queensland Fire. Jemma is now one of the hottest talents in Australian cricket and made the Australian ‘A’ women’s side in 2012.

Three years later as a young professional with a promising career ahead, Jemma was faced with her MS diagnosis. Although having dealt with some incredibly difficult times since her diagnosis, Jemma is now 22 years old and more determined than ever to not let MS get in the way of her love for cricket and representing her country. “It’s made me not take life for granted,” she said. “To be able to do what I love and to still be able to play cricket is amazing.”

Some tiny adjustments now help Jemma on the field with her goal of becoming the best cricketer she can be. “Playing cricket isn’t the most ideal sport for someone like me, as one of the triggers for MS symptoms is heat. I am fortunate to have a very supportive network at Qld Cricket as well as a wonderful supplier, Artic Heat, who’ve made ice vests in my team colours, which are designed to help manage my symptoms by keeping me cool on the field.”

You would think a young professional like Jemma has enough on her plate, but no! Jemma’s biggest dream ever since she was a kid, was to own a successful coffee shop. She now works as a barista at a Brisbane cafe and makes a mean cup of coffee. “I feel lucky to have not one but two jobs that I enjoy, and to be laying the foundation for a fulfilling life after cricket. The people around me are the real secret behind my success, and I’m grateful for them every single day.”

We couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to Jemma, who’s been spreading the Kiss Goodbye to MS message since earlier this year by sharing her personal story. Jemma has been a role model for all young people living with MS, empowering them to pursue their sports, passions and goals in life despite their MS diagnosis – and that’s what we are all about!

Jemma is a true gem who loves educating her community about MS and who’s put her trust in research. Yep, the perfect addition to our Kiss Goodbye to MS family. Welcome to the MS Squad Jemma, we are so happy and proud to have you on board!

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