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Living with MS can be Hell

Media Statement

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Living with MS can be Hell

There’s never been a more deserving time to treat yourself to your favourite Hell pizza. The irreverent company’s 25 Auckland outlets are throwing their support behind Multiple Sclerosis Auckland’s annual Street Appeal, donating $1 for every double-size pizza and 50 cents for every snack pizza sold from 6-12 September.

David Robinson was diagnosed with MS at age 44 – over the following nine years, he progressively lost the use of his legs.

“My life has changed dramatically – I’ve gone from playing inline hockey every week to spending most of my time in a power chair,” says David, who used to be a self-employed landscaper but is no longer capable of any work due to the illness.

“Because of the fatigue factor, everything’s an effort – just trying to move around the house is difficult.”

While MS can strike anyone, studies are showing that women are four times more likely to be diagnosed and it is more common in countries with mild climates such as New Zealand or Northern Europe.

Bronie Hyder, 44, was diagnosed two years ago and says she’s experienced a full spectrum of symptoms, including chronic fatigue, loss of balance and even lost the ability to walk for a period.

“It’s not a visible disease for a lot of sufferers, which is why many people don’t understand it,” says Bronie. “I might be able to walk into a store fine, then the next minute I’m falling over, slurring my words and feeling very tired.”

MS Auckland general manager Therese Russel says all the money raised from Hell’s initiative, plus its street collection campaign on 6 & 7 September, goes directly towards helping those with Multiple Sclerosis and working towards a cure.

“It’s about empowering those who live with MS, by providing greater resources, care, education and a support network to improve their quality of life,” says Therese.

Hell Pizza general manager Ben Cumming says the business is delighted to be involved with such an important cause.

“MS is a really sad disease, as it affects all walks of life, with life-changing consequences – we’re happy to be able to help out,” says Ben.

MS affects around 20,000 people in New Zealand, including those with MS and their families. It is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system (the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord), with a range of symptoms including visual problems, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, and permanent disability for some people. There is currently no cure for Multiple Sclerosis.


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