Today we would like to greatly acknowledge the inspiring work and support of the Olympian Betty Cuthbert. Betty was an advocate for more funds provided to MS research and jointly launched MS Research Australia with the former PM, John Howard AC at Parliament house in 2004. The Olympic athletics champion and world record holder first started experiencing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1969 and was later diagnosed with the disease in 1974, eventually leaving her in a wheelchair and in need of a permanent carer. Tagged the ‘Golden Girl’ of Australian sport she won the affection of the nation. Many people affected by MS will be devastated by her passing.
One of Betty’s most memorable accomplishments in her fight to help find a cure for MS was through the creation of the Betty Cuthbert Scholarship and the Betty Cuthbert Fellowship. These awards were jointly funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), MS Research Australia and the Trish MS Research Foundation to assist research in to the causes of MS and speed-up the development of new treatments and therapies to reduce the effects of the disease.
During a speech Betty once said “All I can say is, this MS, it just takes away your life. Never give up, never give up”.
Betty was an Australian legend who was a true inspiration to us all.