Raised by a family of swimmers, Buster and his three brothers have been drawn to the water for as long as they can remember. Following in their father’s lane, the boys grew up in the Gold Coast watching their dad, Adam Pine, compete at the Sydney, Athens, and Beijing Olympics. Outside of swimming and competitive surfing, 16-year-old Buster currently works part-time at a sports bar and will be looking to study architecture after school. Amongst a busy, youthful and active life, Buster and his family received life-changing news in August this year when Buster was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).
As a year 11 student, the day Buster was diagnosed was also the day he was at school sitting a maths exam. Experiencing symptoms of numbness in the right side of his face that wouldn’t go away, Buster’s mother Sasha picked him up from school early. Insisting to see a doctor that day, the GP recommended a scan and lumbar puncture to Buster, where the results confirmed he had MS. Sasha said they were shocked by the diagnosis and it’s been an emotional journey for the whole family. “The unknown of what this means for Buster’s life continues to be scary, but we’re taking it day-by-day. We want to be positive as a family and tackle Buster’s MS head-on. We will not let it control our lives,” said Sasha.
United by their love as a family and their passion for swimming, the pine family decided to take part in the MS Swimathon this year. To help process Buster’s diagnosis and fundraise for MS, the Pine family will be taking on the Gold Coast Swimathon later this month. “Taking part in the MS Swimathon after Buster’s diagnosis is a no brainer, we’re a swimming family. Buster’s grandparents are both Olympic swimmers as well as his dad. Buster’s godparents also include Michael Klim and Ian Thorpe – we’re surrounded by swimming. Many friends from our larger swimming and surf lifesaving family are excited to dive in and help us out.”
The Gold Coast MS Swimathon is a 12-hour swimming relay event taking place at the Miami pool on Sunday November 14. The team at MS Queensland have been helping Sasha understand Buster’s diagnosis and what treatment options are available. “It’s been wonderful knowing there is help if we need it in MS Queensland. It’s lovely knowing I, as the parent, can call and speak to someone if I need. It’s lovely knowing we have people supporting and helping the MS community.”
Team Buster have now raised over $12,000 for MS Queensland. “People have been so generous, so we really hope we can raise funds and bring awareness to MS. We didn’t know anything about MS or the MS Swimathon before Buster’s diagnosis, but now we want to raise awareness and help find a cure! We are all behind Buster. We’re fighting this with him. I wanted to show Buster that he has the support of everyone and fundraising for his future and others with MS is close to my heart.”
The Gold Coast MS Swimathon is the final MS Swimathon of 2021. Collectively, the eight swims have raised over $224,000 for local and state-wide services offered by MS Queensland to support those living with MS and their families. More than 760 have lapped the pool for MS and if it wasn’t for the incredible fundraising efforts of people like Buster and his family, the MS Swimathon would not be the same. We want to thank each and every person who’s made this year possible.