After two years of cancellations, no one is more excited for the MS Melbourne Run + Ride Festival to be back on Sunday 28 August than Kate Cusmano. The 37-year-old Mum of two is taking on the half marathon to raise awareness and vital funds for those, like herself, living with MS.
“It’s nice to turn my MS into something positive – a sense of community and challenge. It’s great to feel empowered and do something together” Kate says.
Kate was diagnosed with MS in December 2019 after suffering severe pins and needles and numbness in her hands. “I was lucky I was diagnosed within a month” says Kate who still suffers sensory problems including tingling and acute fatigue.
“I might have MS, but I can still do things. I run because I can. I don’t know what the next 5, 10 or 20 years will bring me physically with the MS. So, taking on a half marathon now is a challenge I’m really looking forward to. I’m focused on making sure MS doesn’t rule my life”
There is no cure for MS, which is why events like the MS Melbourne Run + Ride Festival are crucial. Kate says, “the services for MS I use, and the medication I’m on didn’t exist 6 years ago – that’s why raising money for services and research is so important. We’ve got to keep working toward a cure.”
Kate and her 30 teammates will be donning “Kates Crew” t-shirts when taking on the challenge of running 5km, 10km and 21.1km, with some team members never attempting these distances before.
The MS Melbourne Run + Ride Festival takes place at Flemington Racecourse on Sunday 28 August. Choose from a 30km or 50km bike ride which will take participants over the West Gate Bridge, usually closed to cyclists; or a 5km, 10km or 21.1km run, finishing under the famous Flemington rose arbour.