A school rallies behind a student diagnosed with MS

07 September, 2017

When a year 12 student at SCEGGS Darlinghurst was recently diagnosed with MS the school community were shocked.

The student, Niamh was confused and, as would be expected, scared. But over the last few months Niamh has transitioned on from her initial shock, to become a young woman who is brave and determined not to let a diagnosis with MS stand in her way.

The school community have not only supported Niamh, they have rallied around her. The school invited MS Research Australia’s Research and Development Coordinator, Dr Hamish Campbell to address the school assembly, educating the entire school on what a diagnosis with MS means, and the incredible progress we have made in better understanding this disease over the last 10 years.

Year 12 can be tough for anyone, let alone for someone who has just been diagnosed with a chronic disease that currently has no cure. But Niamh, with the support of her family, teachers, friends and school community has been so brave on her journey. Her diagnosis with MS has raised questions that any other 17 year old wouldn’t need to consider. And while our team at MS Research Australia can’t answer all of those questions, she is able to speak directly to our research team at any time.

The school’s year 12 cohort have committed to raising funds for research into MS, determined to make a difference that will impact their friend’s future. They have raised $7,792 (and counting) for Kiss Goodbye to MS so far, surpassing their original goal of $3,000 within weeks! In a true show of support 100 students, and a few teachers, from the school joined the Kiss Goodbye to MS City2Surf team on the 13th August. They all proudly wore their Kiss running singlets walking, running and jogging 14km on a chilly Sunday morning. A pretty great effort for anyone, especially 100 teenagers!

The fundraising efforts of this year 12 group have overwhelmed our Kiss Goodbye to MS team. But equally important to raising funds is that the school has supported and uplifted a student with care and compassion. The idea to raise funds for Kiss Goodbye to MS came directly from the students. They worked with their teachers to come up with fundraising ideas, hold activities and organised the City2Surf team on their own accord.

The funds raised by SCEGGS Darlinghurst through Kiss Goodbye to MS will contribute to the ongoing work of MS Research Australia. MS Research Australia is funding research projects to better understand MS, to develop treatments and to ultimately find the cures for all types of this disease. Kiss Goodbye to MS allows passionate young people like the entire year 12 cohort at SCEGGS Darlinghurst to make a difference to the future of one of their peers.

On SCEGGS Darlinghurst’s website the banner reads “What sort of person do you want your daughter to be?” The 2017 year 12 students are compassionate, determined and kind. And what incredible qualities to demonstrate at any age, let alone as young women.

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