When Sydney mum Kerrie Newton began inexplicably tripping on her daily walks, she assumed something was wrong with her shoes.
“I thought it was the one on my right foot,” Kerrie tells me. “But then I threw them away, and was shocked because it just kept happening.”
Kerrie had also been feeling crippling fatigue for months.
“I felt major fatigue. My friends that had babies the same age as mine were going to the gym at 8pm after dinner, whereas I was just wanting to sleep all the time.”
Then there was the strange incident at yoga class.
“I always did yoga and one session, I just couldn’t hold my legs up like I used to.”
As symptoms began adding up, Kerrie began researching. With every new ailment, the possibilities of what the mother had were narrowing, until one day, two years down the track, there was only one diagnosis Google offered her: multiple sclerosis.
A doctor's appointment confirmed the frightening news that Kerrie would have to share with her husband Mark and two young boys, who were five and seven at the time, when she arrived home.
Kerrie's diagnosis meant she was battling a varied and unpredictable condition, one that progressively attacks her central nervous system, resulting in a combination of problems - from weakened motor control, to visual disturbances and severe heat sensitivity.