The May 50K raises over $6.6 million for MS research

15 June, 2020

You helped us raise a record-breaking $6.6 million for life-changing MS research!

This year marked the much anticipated second year of MS Research Australia’s community fundraising initiative, The May 50K – a virtual fitness and fundraising challenge, encouraging Australians to walk or run 50km whilst raising funds for life-changing MS research. 2020 was off to a difficult start for many as the catastrophic bushfires were quickly followed by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing people into isolation and leaving uncertainty around how The May 50K would unfold.

Turns out, not even a global pandemic can stop our Kiss Goodbye to MS supporters! Leveraging the virtual nature of the campaign, The May 50K continued, enabling supporters to get out walking, running and fundraising. These incredible efforts culminated in over $6.6 million for MS research – more than three times the total funds raised in 2019!

Our community have shown us once again an unwavering commitment to ensuring that we WILL leave MS where it belongs, behind us.

Over 35,600 Australians signed up – that’s more people than the 25,600 Australians living with MS.

Seeing the challenge being embraced on such a scale, going well beyond the MS community was truly remarkable, with nearly half of all participants having no personal or direct connection to MS.

During a time of global uncertainty, The May 50K proved to be a perfect way for many Australians to stay connected and look after their physical and mental well-being, whilst working towards a common goal – accelerating research into prevention, better treatments and a cure for MS.

We also saw 433 workplaces embrace The May 50K and raise over $800,000 for life-changing MS research. We were so pleased to see our workplace legends embrace the challenge as a pillar for unity whilst many were working from home.

Together, we ran, walked and cycled 50 laps around the world.

The May 50K participants smashed their individual challenge goals and covered over two million kilometres – that’s 50 laps around the world! Supporters honed in on their creativity to complete the challenge in isolation, from running in their backyards or walking 50km in a single day, to rocking a banana costume to inspire donations or running 500km across the month.

Our Kiss Goodbye to MS Ambassador Kerrie Newton, who lives with primary progressive MS (PPMS) and does everything from a wheelchair, was one of our most creative participants as she clocked 50km by arm cranking in her living room – for the second year in a row. It was Kerrie’s determination that motivated 681 people to join ‘Team Kerrie’ and collectively raise over $200,000 for MS research!

In 2020, The May 50K went global.

Following the success of The May 50K 2019 in Australia, our global colleagues from the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) decided to pilot The May 50K globally this year. We welcomed nearly 13,000 participants from the UK, Canada, Ireland and the USA to the global challenge. It proved a huge success, with the four countries raising a collective $1.26 million for vital MS research and access to treatment in their home countries. Undertaking global collaboration is just one way MS Research Australia can increase funding for MS research and change the lives of people living with MS across the globe.

Thank you for changing the lives of people living with MS.

As The May 50K 2020 draws to a close, we’d like to thank our passionate participants and their donors for showing incredible generosity and commitment during this challenging time. The success of The May 50K is a testament to your determination to help us leave MS where it belongs, behind us.

Thanks to you, our MS researchers can continue their invaluable work. Thanks to you, the future of the 25,600 Australians living with MS is in good hands.

Stay tuned for The May 50K 2021! We’re already counting down the days…

To register your interest for The May 50K 2021, please head to themay50k.org/register-interest-2021.

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