A 26-YEAR-OLD woman who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis just months ago has battled against the condition to walk 27 miles and raise £2,000.

Zoe Awburn from Hexham said she first realised something was not right in March when she started losing feeling in her feet.

“I was trying to brush it off and put it down to other things,” she explained. “So with the lack of feeling in my feet I was thinking ‘I have cold feet’ and putting the heater up in my car really high.

“Then I was out running with the dog and I couldn’t really feel my feet.

“I started realising the whole lack of feeling was from the chest down.

“After being pestered by people I made myself an appointment with the physio and I got sent straight to A&E.

“On that first day when I went to the physio and went through to A&E it hit home that something was quite sadly amiss.”

Zoe, who works for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust as a senior emergency preparedness, resilience and support officer, explained that the process happened extremely quickly following the visit, and she was diagnosed with MS in April.

The disease is a neurological condition which affects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, also known as the central nervous system.

“My mum has MS and her first relapse was in her early 20s,” she said.

“It was quite a shock but it had been in the back of my mind and having gone through it with Mum, I was prepared for it a bit.”

Within a week of her diagnosis Zoe had decided to turn the news into a positive, and signed up to do the Miles for MS challenge with the MS Trust.

After setting herself the challenge to walk 26 miles throughout May, by the end of last month she had reached 27 miles, despite describing some days as finding it difficult to walk 300 yards.

She said: “Some days I was really struggling so it was good that it was up to me when I did them.

“I chose a mile for every year I have been alive and I did an extra one for luck.”

Zoe has already had her first round of steroid treatment, and at the end of the month she will begin Ocrelizumab treatment. As she has been diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS, the treatment is aimed at preventing the chance of a relapse by 70 to 80 per cent.

After publicising her efforts on social media, and with the help of local businesses which made their customers aware, Zoe has now raised more than £2,000 for the charity, and said in the future hopes to do more fund-raising.

“I feel so fortunate that I have been able to get the treatment with the NHS and I want to give something back.”