Eleanor to bake her way towards MS fundraising

Eleanor to bake her way towards MS fundraising

A DOWNPATRICK woman who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in her early 30s will hold a fundraising cake break to raise money for the MS Society next month.

Forty five year-old Eleanor Clarke was diagnosed with MS when she was just 33, and although she was partly relieved to have a reason for the unusual symptoms she was experiencing, she was also frightened by what the future held.

Although she has now learnt to cope with the illness, she is still hopeful that a cure will one day be found and is hoping to help the MS Society to edge a little close to a cure through her fundraising cake break on Friday, May 2.

Through the nationwide Cake Break event, the MS Society is hoping to raise over £350,000. Eleanor will hold her event in Lucy Annie’s Bakery and Coffee House at the Ballymote Centre in Downpatrick on May 2 from 2pm-4pm.

She is hoping local people will call into the cafe to enjoy a treat in return for a donation.

Eleanor is hoping her effort will help some of the other 4,000 people in Northern Ireland living with MS.

“I was diagnosed with MS in 2001 and it was a difficult time,” she recalls.

“I was having all these weird, unexplained symptoms and the doctors were doing lots of tests.

“When they eventually told me I had MS, it was frightening but it was also a bit of a relief to finally know what was happening.

“I didn’t really know what my future held but I soon realised that MS affects everyone differently. I just needed to figure out the ‘Eleanor version’ of MS.”

In many ways Eleanor said her diagnosis “spurred her on” and she married her fiancé Sean, after a 15 year engagement,

and they had their children Matthew, who is now 10, and Ellen, who is six.

“MS forced me to focus on what I really wanted in life and during my pregnancies I felt very well,” she said.

“Unfortunately, I suffered a bad relapse after giving birth. It was a tough time but I got through it.

“MS is an unpredictable condition and like most people living with it, I hope for a cure one day”.

Eleanor says the Cake Break event is the perfect way for her to support research to find a cure for MS.

“I was a legal assistant for 23 years but I recently decided to leave law behind and join my brother-in-law Harry’s bakery business,” she said.

“So when I heard about the MS Society’s Cake Break, I knew it was the perfect fundraiser for me.

“I’m really exited and my head is buzzing with ideas.

“My friends and family are getting involved, promising to bake cakes and even host their own Cake Breaks.

“Most people in Northern Ireland love to have a cuppa and a wee bun so I’d like to encourage everyone to come along. Your support could help to find the cure I hope for”.

For more information about the MS Society access the website www.mssociety.org.uk

Anyone interested in hosting their own Cake Break for Action MS is asked to sign up to www.cakebreak.org.uk.