A woman from St Andrews living with multiple sclerosis (MS) has raised cash to fight the condition by running and biking 100km.
Jackie O’Neill, 43, is a finance administrator at St Andrews University and was diagnosed with relapsing MS in 2012.
She took part in MS Society Scotland’s ‘100k Your Way’ challenge to raise money by covering 100km – just over 62 miles – in just 15 days.
Jackie, who completed the distance by running and cycling in St Andrews and north east Fife, has previously raised in excess £8,000 for MS Society Scotland and hopes to hit the £10,000 mark in the next year after collecting over £750 this time around.
She said: “I was shielding for five months which definitely had an effect on my fitness and how I felt. I always feel better when I’m staying active and I lost some strength during that time.
“My MS diagnosis turned my world upside down but all I can do is stay as strong as I can through the good and bad and make the most of things.”
MS is a neurological condition which damages nerves in your body and makes it harder to do everyday things, like walk, talk, eat and think.
Jackie continued: “It was difficult building strength back up again after lockdown but in the first few days of this month I’ve been out a few times either running five kilometres or cycling further than that.
“That’s one of the great things about this challenge is that you can push yourself in a way that’s flexible to you.
“Days that I’m feeling better I got out running but if I’m not feeling as well I got on the bike.
“For me that’s a big thing as my MS can cause fatigue and my right-hand side can be affected too with my leg getting heavy and pain in my arm.
“I also have a lot of pain in my leg and numbness in my foot and hand. But these are only some of the symptoms that affect me and MS is different for everyone.
“It’s a great idea to get yourself active and I’m pleased to have kept my momentum in raising money in the fight to stop MS.”
“Thanks to everyone for their kind donations, I’m really grateful for all the support.”
Morna Simpkins, director of MS Society Scotland, said: “A massive thank you to Jackie for taking on this fantastic challenge and raising funds to support the MS community at this crucial time.
“More than 15,000 in Scotland are living with MS and demand for our services and support has increased as people begin to understand and live with the impacts of the pandemic.
“As a result the support of our amazing community matters more than ever so we’re delighted to see people signing, raising money and having fun.”
If you’d like to support Jackie’s fundraising challenge you can visit her JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jackie-o-neill1.