Personal reason for charity run

WHEN Kerang resident Tahnee Southern, 31, felt a tingling sensation in her legs that wouldn't go away she knew something wasn't right.

Friends have rallied around Tahnee Southern with support for the MS Melbourne Cycle + 1/2 Marathon event in Melbourne on March 31.

Friends have rallied around Tahnee Southern with support for the MS Melbourne Cycle + 1/2 Marathon event in Melbourne on March 31.

A visit to her "quick-thinking" doctor, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and a visit to a neurologist later, and she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).

So Ms Southern and 11 friends decided to complete the MS Melbourne Cycle + 1/2 Marathon event in Melbourne on March 31.

An MS Limited spokeswoman said the funds go to MS Limited who support people currently living with MS, while the search for a cure continues.

According to MS Australia, MS is a condition of the central nervous system, interfering with nerve impulses within the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.

Ms Southern said six months ago thought the tingling was "weird" so she booked an appointment with her general practitioner (GP).

She said it was two weeks before the sensation in her legs went away.

"Really, had I not thought to go to the doctor, which a lot of people wouldn't, then I would never even know because I've had nothing happen since," she said.

Ms Southern's GP sent her to get an MRI and to see a neurologist, who diagnosed her.

She was then put on medication to stop any further relapses from occurring.

"So I thought by putting myself in my situation now, if someone can take something from it then maybe I can help someone else one day.

"Not necessarily with MS, but with anything really."

Ms Southern said since her diagnosis she had felt that she was "a lot more tired".

"The real difference I've noticed is that I'm a lot more lethargic and tired, so I used to just be go, go, go, all the time,' she said.

"I also have to stop myself a little bit and just know when too much is too much."

The Kerang resident said she used to say yes to everything, but now with the MS had to reassess things lessening her social interactions and extra curricular activities.

Ms Southern said she had also been exercising less than she used to and had to change the amount of shifts she took up at work.

Ms Southern has worked at Woolworths Supermarkets for the past 17 years.

It was when her employer asked her to fill in as an assistant manager six months ago that Ms Southern started noticing her MS symptoms.

"I was working just nine days a fortnight for the first few months, just to help with how tired I was all the time," she said.

Ms Southern said her partner, Blake Shay had been a great support for her since her diagnosis.

In the MS event, Ms Southern and her friends will be complete the fundraising event under the team name The Rat Pack.

All 12 team members will complete the run (5 or 10km), with one doing the half marathon (21.5km) and another, the MS Melbourne Cycle 2019 event held on the same day.

"I want to say how great it is for them to do the run," Ms Southern said.

"I've never been to Flemington (Racecourse, where the event is being held), so it's going to be cool."

The team came together after Ms Southern's friend, Annie Coobs saw something about the event and said "we need to do this".

Ms Southern's brother, Levi Southern, said he would complete the half marathon if the team raised $2500.

Ms Southern said due to the Summer heat she has opted for training on a stationary exercise bicycle at home, rather than in the heat outside.

"My MS flares up a bit with the heat, so it's too hot most of the time to be outside," she said.

"I work at Woolworths in the deli so I walk about 10km per day anyway.

"I'll have my phone in the pocket and I'll have my pedometer and it's amazing how far you walk."

At First Ms Southern hoped to raise $500, but has already surpassed that personal goal with $1790 raised so far."

As a whole, the team has raised $2,025 so far.

When Ms Southern isn't working she loves to travel.

"I've been overseas a few times. I've been to the United States twice and the United Kingdom twice, and Bali," she said.

"I went to Europe the year before I was diagnosed, the year I turned 30 so that was probably one of the funnest years I've had."

Ms Southern said she'd had a great 30th birthday spending a month in Europe, then the following year was hit by the diagnosis.

"For me, it's sort of slowed me down a lot. I haven't travelled since I've started my medication, so travelling will be a lot harder now," she said.

"But, it's definitely something I'll try to keep doing."

Ms Southern takes medication for her condition three times a week.

To donate to the fundraiser, there will be tins placed at the Kerang Sports and Entertainment Venue this week.

Donations can also be made online at https://www.msmelbournecycle.org.au/.

Search for Tahnee Southern in fundraisers and The Rat Pack in teams.

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