Jamie-Lynn Sigler revealed her own experience with MS last month. (Image: getty)
Katie Mattin was 25 years old and had recently given birth to twins when she noticed some unusual symptoms.
As The Brisbane radio host recalls, one of her toes became numb while she was breastfeeding her daughters Holly and Amelia — but because it was a cold night, she didn’t think much of it.
“The next morning it wasn’t any better and over about a week it gradually got worse and moved up one leg,” Mattin tells QLD newspaper The Courier Mail.
Mattin didn’t seek medical attention until she lost feeling in her other leg while crossing the road one day.
“I remember feeling really scared because I just thought ‘Oh my God, if a car came around the corner fast right now I literally wouldn’t be able to run away’,” the Nova 106.9 presenter says.
An MRI and a lumbar puncture revealed Mattin had Multiple Sclerosis — an incurable disease of the central nervous system that affects nerve pulses in the brain, optic nerves and spinal cord. In Australia, there are currently more than 23,000 people living with MS.
Over the past seven years, the only people who knew about Mattin's diagnosis were her family, husband and close friends. She admits it was an emotionally challenging time and has since conducted her own research into MS symptoms.
"With MS, no two people's experiences are the same, so it's a lot of 'what if this happens?'. I remember my husband saying to me 'hang on a second, what if it doesn't?"
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Now, Mattin is providing that visibility and awareness for others. She's signed on as an ambassador for the upcoming BMS Brissie to the Bay bike ride, an annual fundraising event organised by MS Queensland.