A RIDE FOR CHANGE: Jess Ryan plans to ride in the MS Brissie to the Bay to raise funds for other multiple sclerosis sufferers.
A RIDE FOR CHANGE: Jess Ryan plans to ride in the MS Brissie to the Bay to raise funds for other multiple sclerosis sufferers. Contributed

Against the odds Jess riding out to inspire others

BLINDED twice, unable to walk for months on end, fatigued and weak, these are the facts of life former Warwick girl Jess Ryan and 23,000 other Australians live with every day as sufferers of multiple sclerosis.

Though she was diagnosed less than two years ago at the age of 21, Jess's fighting spirit has been an inspiration to others.

"It was in August 2012 when I was first diagnosed," she said.

After going without sight in one eye for two weeks Jess finally made the decision to see a doctor.

"I thought it was a migraine that would go away but I was in hospital straight away with all sorts of tests," she said.

Since diagnosis life has been a rollercoaster for Jess, who moved from her home in Yeppoon to be in a cooler climate because of her condition.

"I've lost two jobs because of the disease," she said.

Now part of the National MS Day campaign Jess has made it her mission to help others with the disease by riding the 2014 Enerflex MS Brissie to the Bay bike ride to raise funds in the fight against MS.

"I'm just an ordinary person doing fundraising," she said. "After the ride I also want to study to become a personal trainer to work with others who have MS."

Jess feels awareness for the disease which affects her central nervous system needs to grow.

"Because of MS my immune system attacks my nervous system and causes scarring on my brain; the hardest part is I don't know where it will attack next," she said.

Instead of focusing on the negatives Jess prefers to keep herself busy as she works towards her goals.

To donate to Jess's ride and make an impact on the lives of Australians living with MS, log onto

www.msqldevents.org.au and search for Jess Ryan.



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