Anyone school kid of the past few decades would probably be able to tell you something about multiple sclerosis.
What they do know about this insidious disease is likely to have come via a fundraising event that has been a staple of most primary schools.
The MS Readathon has been going strong for about 35 years, encouraging kids to read books while using their tally as a way of getting mums, dads, friends and neighbours to make a donation.
Every book read can be sponsored for a sum, the final tally going to the good people at MS Australia.
The campaign has been an overwhelming success, both in raising much-needed research dollars and educating children and, through them, the wider community about multiple sclerosis.
Now Dianna Yoong has leant her support to the fundraising effort in the fight against multiple sclerosis.
And the Melbourne woman has quite a story to tell.
Not only has she lived with the disease for eight years after being diagnosed at 40, she has had to combine her efforts to fight it with another health burden – a rare genetic heart condition diagnosed two years ago.
It’s not as if the battle with multiple sclerosis wasn’t already hard enough.
She tells of how the condition made her health go downhill at first “quite rapidly”.
As confronting as each diagnosis has been, Mrs Yoong has been able to pick herself and just get on with things – ably assisted by the tremendous support of her husband and daughter.
That journey that began all those years ago has now culminated in a new journey, one marked by entirely new challenges.
Dianna and Kiam Yoong have embarked on a monumental Murray River journey that will take them from Albury to Goolwa as part of their Kiss Goodbye to MS fundraiser.
Mrs Yoong knows that whatever she achieves from taking their boat along the river won’t affect the progress of her own disease.
But it has given her a new zest for life, one that has freed her from the so many restrictions imposed on her by MS.
She should be heartily congratulated for undertaking such an endeavour and deserves the community’s financial support.