25-year-old, Braydon, had originally planned to propose to his girlfriend on an overseas trip under the northern lights sky last year. However, with overseas travel not being possible, Braydon decided to pop the question amongst a sea of lanterns instead.
Over 50 of Braydon’s friends and family took part in the MS Moonlight Walk in March, not just in support of the proposal but in solidarity of Braydon’s condition and the MS community. “I was diagnosed with MS a year ago, at the age of 23. I’m doing this event because I want to support people living with MS; people just like me,” says Braydon.
Presenting with various warning signs at the age of 21, Braydon says it was his partner Glenda who first noticed his symptoms. “Glenda noticed that I had actually lost feeling in the left side of my body and was no longer able to hold a knife and fork. She urged me to go to the doctor. These symptoms slowly got worse, with numbness starting in my left hand which started spreading over the next month. I delayed seeing my GP, thinking it was due to stress and would go away over time. After seeing my GP, having tests and going for an MRI, it was confirmed that I had multiple sclerosis (MS),” he recalls.
Working as an Emergency Registered Nurse, Braydon was able to understand his MS diagnosis on a more transparent and medical level. Still processing his diagnosis, Braydon was initially hesitant to connect with MS Queensland and be involved in the MS Moonlight Walk event. “Honestly, it took a lot of pressure from my mother. But the Moonlight Walk was a great opportunity for me to tell my family and friends about what had been happening. We were also able to raise a ridiculous amount of money for a great cause – I received 3rd individual fundraiser and our team came 4th!”
As for the engagement to his now fiancé, Glenda, Braydon tributes the proposal to the support and encouragement from his friends and family. “It would not have gone ahead without three of my friends continually egging me on. Once they found about it my mother and work mother took it on themselves to make it as big as possible!” Wearing custom shirts that revealed the message “Keep calm and say YES” once turned inside out, Glenda received a huge surprise when she saw Braydon on one knee. “Doing it this way meant we could be surrounded by friends and family. Also meant that it took all the attention off me!” he says.
Despite having to navigate planning a wedding amidst a pandemic, Braydon and Glenda are happily engaged and excited for the future. Connecting with MS Queensland during this time, Braydon says the help of support workers and counsellors has been amazing! “Having a regular person to talk to just to check in who’s a little removed from your day-to-day life has been fantastic. Both Glenda and I would definitely say I am happier because of it.”
The MS Moonlight Walk raises vital funds that provide various supports and services to thousands of Queenslanders living with MS. MS Moonlight Walk will take place at dusk on Friday 15 October 2021 at Davies Park West End or in your local area with the “In Your Neighbourhood” option. The event in West End offers three courses (3km, 5km or 10km walks) with all except the 10km being wheelchair accessible.
To register or donate to someone taking part in the Brisbane or virtual MS Moonlight Walk, please visit here.