News

Fish to help fight MS

By Benalla Ensign

Benalla’s Shane Mackay is a partner to Jade and father to their three girls Hayley, Larissa and Emily. Shane’s partner, Jade has multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis is the most common chronic neurological disease of young Australians, and there is no cure.

With more than 25000 people living with the disease, MS provides much-needed support and services for people like Jade, while the search for a cure continues.

Jade was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 16 years ago.

In recent years Jade has had to give up work completely because of a relapse impacting her cognitive function, losing her short-term memory, slurring her speech, and increasing her fatigue levels.

‘‘Jade has had optical neuritis, which can cause pain and temporary vision loss,’’ Shane said.

‘‘Jade also has no sense of touch, spasticity in her hands and feet, and fatigue.

‘‘We have never kept multiple sclerosis a secret from our girls, but there has definitely been some challenging times for us.’’

Understandably, being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis was a big transition for the family and not knowing when Jade would have to give up work meant planning for the future was even more difficult than it is for most people.

As a result, the family’s motto is to ‘‘take it as it comes’’.

Shane and his family love fishing. Going fishing as a family is an important aspect of their lives.

‘‘We often go fishing together, it’s a great way to spend time with the community and my family. Jade and my girls are really supportive of my fishing,’’ Shane said.

Shane is president of his local fishing club, a competitive fisher himself and goes fishing most weekends.

He was excited when he heard the announcement that MS are the official charity partners of the GoFish Nagambie Festival.

‘‘This makes me very happy, my wife suffers from multiple sclerosis and now you’re telling me I can go fishing and help kick this disease’s ass. Awesome,’’ Shane said.

MS is proud to say that Shane and his family are attending the GoFish Nagambie event.

They are one of 10 families who will be attending this important MS Family Program.

While there they will be participating in the fishing tournament and experiencing a range of organised activities at the GoNagambie Festival.

They will also have an opportunity to meet and form friendships with other families also facing multiple sclerosis.

The GoFish Nagambie MS Family Program would not be possible without the generous support of Solar City Marine, Trellys, Torqeedo, Aquayak Kayaks and Lakes Yoga who are providing equipment and activities for the MS Family Program.

You can also help families like the Mackays by buying an MS raffle ticket at the GoNagambie Festival Hub, with some amazing prizes up for grabs.

The event will take place from April 25 to 28.

●For more information, visit www.gofishnagambie.com.au