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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Autumn 2023

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Recognising our MSWA volunteers | Horst Bemmerl: Reaching new heights | MSWA Albany turns one! | Anne and Doug's travel adventures


OUR COMMUNITY TEAM MSWA MSWA ALBANY CELEBRATES FIRST BIRTHDAY WITH A BANG! JAMIE WARNOCK: SHOOTING FOR THE MOON MSWA Albany celebrated For Jamie Warnock, taking on its first year of operations in the open ocean in the Rottnest Albany with a grand birthday Channel Swim was a daunting celebration on Thursday, prospect, but it still pales in April 13, 2023. comparison to the challenges his The event, which was held at mum faces day-to-day. the MSWA Albany Centre, was The channel swim is an expansive attended by MSWA Clients, 19.7 kilometres out in the elements volunteers, staff, families and – but the sun, wind and waves community leaders. were never going to stop Jamie The event featured a range of exciting activities conducted from achieving his goal to make mum proud. by Clients and community Although his mum was diagnosed members alike. with multiple sclerosis 10 years ago, The event included live music, painting and guessing games, as well as balance, strength, and breath tests with the physio team. Members of the executive team even jumped on the BBQ and cooked up a sausage sizzle for attendees. Melanie Kiely, MSWA CEO, presented the first resident of the centre, David, with a certificate before sharing the duty of cutting the birthday cake. "We are absolutely delighted to celebrate the Albany Centre's first birthday and express our sincere gratitude to all those who have supported us over the past year, including our valued Clients and residents, dedicated team members and volunteers, and the broader community,” she said. “The unwavering support we have received at MSWA events and fundraising initiatives is truly inspiring, and things took a turn when Jamie was in his final year of high school. “It started to affect her cognitive function and she developed early onset Alzheimer’s,” he said. “Since then, it has been completely devastating to the family. She is now receiving 24/7 care and it has been a long, tough road trying to support her in the best way we can. “MSWA helped to give us a road map – we were so lost and didn’t know what to do, having direction was a life saver.” Having completed the swim as part of a team on two previous occasions, Jamie decided 2023 was the year to take a leap and do it solo for Team MSWA – raising an incredible ,735 in the process. “The reason I took on the challenge is because MSWA has been “I have other family members who also have MS, so I have heard so much about the work you are doing and we have also experienced it first-hand.” It took five months of preparation and a qualifying swim to reach the big day, which wasn’t without its challenges. “The swell and wind got pretty hectic – I ended up getting flipped by a wave and swimming back to Perth at one point,” Jamie said. “It was gruelling, but I feel like with all the training I had done, that was the hard work, the swim itself was the payoff.” “It is a huge achievement, I am stoked I actually made it and got under my goal time of six hours.” Jamie’s message to anyone wanting to join Team MSWA is simple: just go for it! “It seems daunting to start with, but just set a goal. Even if you don’t know if you can achieve it, shoot for the moon.” MSWA wants to extend a huge congratulations to Jamie for his amazing accomplishment and our sincere gratitude for being such a strong supporter of our cause. we remain humbled by the generosity of local businesses and supporters.” Happy first birthday MSWA Albany! instrumental in helping my mum,” Jamie said. “It’s a fantastic organisation helping so many people in WA,” he said. 26 27