Raising funds for MS cure
REDFERN: Mum of two Emma Giunti is wearing all red for the month of May to raise money for multiple sclerosis (MS) research. Ms Giunti’s fundraising efforts are part of Kiss Goodbye to MS, a global fundraising campaign by MS Research Australia, which coincides with World MS Day on May 31. You can follow her outfits every day on Instagram: @31reddaystoKGTMS.
The 41-year-old foodie and yoga fanatic was diagnosed with MS in 2010. Not long after returning from her honeymoon, she noticed a strange sensation in her eye – like there was water running over it.
“[My doctor] said to me, well, best case scenario it could be something wrong with your eyes, and worst case scenario it could be multiple sclerosis. And I didn’t even know how to spell multiple sclerosis, let alone what it was, and I said to him – oh, is that what Michael J Fox has got? That was the first thing I said, and he goes, ‘oh no, that’s Parkinson’s’… I had no idea what MS was,” she says.
Multiple sclerosis causes random scarring of the nervous system, which can result in a wide variety of symptoms, including fatigue, numbness, poor bladder control and memory loss. For Emma’s part, she has a particular sensitivity to noise, “which is not convenient when you have a 6- and a 3-year-old!”
MS affects more than 23,000 Australians, three-quarters of whom are women. Several treatments exist, but despite ongoing research, there is no cure.
A recent breakthrough occurred at Macquarie University, however, where researchers discovered a blood test which determines which type of MS a person has (there are four).
“That was huge as far as MS discoveries go,” Ms Giunti says, “and it was fantastic that it happened in Australia, and it was partially funded by MS Research Australia, who I’m fundraising for.”
Emma’s donation page is online here. So far she has raised just over $500, in pursuit of her goal of $5,000.
A cure for MS “would be like a dark cloud lifted from my shoulders,” Ms Giunti says, who dreams of becoming a yoga teacher.
Her 31 red days have been made possible by local clothing shops like Vinnies and Redress Recycled Clothing, which has provided red items at a discount. Other local businesses can donate red clothing by contacting Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emma’s donation page is online. So far she has raised just over $500, in pursuit of her goal of $5,000.