My name is Cathy Blyth, aged 43, married to a mad keen fisherman and together we have a young adult family of four. I work at Tasmanian Railway as a Procurement Officer and am very grateful to my employer for being understanding of my medical schedule to date. I love being on the water, in the water, beachcombing, gardening, reading and being in the outdoors in general.
Diagnosed mid 2014 with MS was a massive, unexpected shock. My symptoms had been quite mild building up to that point and then to be delivered that diagnosis was shattering. Some of my symptoms started to make sense to me and slowly I am working out how to move forward. I still struggle to say the full “MS” word but am getting there.
I have lived in Tasmania, a small island at the bottom of mainland Australia, all my life and am surrounded by the sea! Growing up my father was either building a yacht, racing one and then building a bigger and faster one and so on and I was either on the water or helping to build one. Summer holidays were spent on the yacht cruising and enjoying all that life has to bring with those pursuits. I did not have to be asked twice if I wanted to go sailing! Supressed in the back of mind somewhere I think has always been the desire to sail somewhere warm overseas and this is my big chance. I am sad not to be sharing this with my husband who is also on my MS journey with me but I guess there will always be parts of the journey I will have to undertake myself.
I have spent the later years more in power boats, largely due to convenience and our family’s enjoyment of fishing and water sports. We have spent many family holidays on a 6 metre boat with up to 4 kids sleeping on a beach somewhere isolated- this is my idea of relaxation and adventure. Recently we have moved up to an 11 metre motor boat with more comforts of home and less restraints on where we can explore due to the weather. It’s rather ironic or fate that we should purchase a bigger boat just as my body probably needed to have a bit more comfort.
I hope to gain from this a chance to take a break from the pace of everyday life and just simply enjoy something I love. The chance to meet with others in similar situations that are choosing to embrace life and live it to the fullest will be a boost to my confidence and wellbeing. I do not want to be known for pushing others away with self-absorption in my own fate but for getting all that I can out of life and being someone others want to be around. I look forward to showing others that MS will not be a boundary to adventure and living life to the fullest.