Taylor Antoniou


 

Mackay MS Swimathon Community Champion, Taylor Antoniou, standing in a yard wearing an MS Swimathon t-shirt, with MS Swimathon towel on the groundTaylor has been part of the Mackay MS Swimathon for the last three years and she is excited for the event again this year. Supporting those in the community with MS is a very important cause for Taylor. Taylor is swimming for her younger sister, Brianna.

Taylor’s sister, Brianna was just 13 when she was diagnosed with MS. Brianna’s first symptom was her optic nerve, losing clear site in her left eye. Whilst running at school, she lost feeling in her legs, symptoms progressed to affect her tongue, bladder and even cause permanent damage to a few of her toes.

Her diagnosis had a massive impact on not only Brianna, but Taylor and her whole family. Brianna was in and out of hospital all throughout high school, trialling different treatments.

“At first, I really had no idea what MS was or what it was doing to my sisters’ body. I felt scared and broken because there was nothing I could do to help my little sister. My whole family was worried and devastated as there is no cure for MS.”

Currently, Brianna is undergoing a new immune suppression therapy called Lemtrada. Recently, Brianna had a relapse causing loss of feeling in both her feet and being admitted to hospital for three days of treatment.

In June this year, Brianna will receive her second and hopefully final part of her treatment. If everything goes well, after 10 years Brianna will be treatment free!

“I get involved to spread awareness of this disease because a lot of people are not sure of what it is and how it not only affects the individual, but their family and friends.”

For Taylor, the MS Swimathon is an amazing opportunity to spread awareness about MS and have an incredible impact for the Mackay community.