Who knew that zip lines are a way to give back to the MS community?

This columnist has already jumped out of a plane. Here's what's next

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by Mike Parker |

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Given how much my life has changed because of multiple sclerosis (MS), anytime an opportunity arises for me to support an MS charity, I jump at the chance — figuratively, of course.

I recently learned that the MS Society UK is organizing another of its zip line events in June to raise funds. Let’s be honest: It isn’t quite like jumping from an airplane at 10,000 feet, which I did last October, but it is something I’ve never done before. So I signed up and started to raise funds.

Why do I support these charities? From the moment my general practitioner told me to expect an MS diagnosis back in February 2022, I knew I’d need to talk about my fears and feelings. While searching online, I found the MS Society UK and their help line. After some soul-searching, I made a call and explained how I was feeling.

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The help and advice I received were invaluable. The call center staff explained the condition and what to expect from upcoming tests, including MRIs and lumbar punctures (also known as spinal taps). They eased my fears by being calm and listening to me.

From then on, I wanted to start giving back with the hope that my small efforts could assist the charity in continuing to help others. To date, I’ve been involved in two 5-kilometer walks around London, mostly done in my wheelchair. Both events were fantastic, and I raised a few hundred pounds while seeing some of the city’s best landmarks, including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and Buckingham Palace.

Then I got to parachute from a plane, and to this day, I still watch a video of it and smile. What an experience that was!

I also did a weekend streaming computer games for another MS charity here in the U.K. called the MS Trust.

So what is this upcoming event? Well, I don’t really know what to expect other than what’s described on the organization’s website. I am aware that I’ll start 500 feet off the ground and hit massive speeds on a zip line spanning over 700 meters, but that’s about it.

Nonetheless, it fills me with pride to know that all of these challenging activities are my small way of fighting back against MS. It’s also my way of giving back to the MS community, which has supported me from the start of my journey.


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

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