"It hits you hard," Jodie Haythorpe says of people learning they have multiple sclerosis.
She has been helping them come to terms with news they have the condition of the central nervous system for 10 years through MS Limited.
"It's always good to have someone walk them through the initial diagnosis ... (as) the fear sets in about what is going to happen in the future," she said.
Ms Haythorpe has herself relied on others to help her during the 16 years since her own diagnosis, including at MS Limited.
"That support is vital. Without them - well, no-one needs to handle MS alone," she said.
She urged people to get behind MS Limited's 2019 Dream Home Lottery, which has a $4.2 million prize pool including the chose between a $2.6 million house and land package or the same amount in gold.
The funds would support those battling the condition, which affected a disproportionately high number of women.
Most were diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40, including Ms Haythorpe, who began experiencing symptoms while at university.
Many people living with multiple sclerosis experienced visual problems, balance and coordination issues.
"MS is very individual, no two people have the same symptoms, so it very much varies," Ms Haythorpe said.
"I run a local support group and we have people in wheelchairs who are paralysed. Some members can still walk," she said.
Fundraising had become increasingly important in a period when the introduction of the National Disability Scheme had changed the way it and other groups were financed, taking away block funding.
"So the organisation must continually raise money," Ms Haythorpe said.
Ms Haythorpe's symptoms changed daily.
"Sometimes I might experience very severe fatigue and even when I get up from a nine-hour sleep it feels as though I've hit a brick wall, really. The fatigue is absolutely disabling so I spend those days in bed."
But life did not end with a diagnosis. Ms Haythorpe went on to complete her university studies and dedicate herself to helping others in the community.
She wanted to raise awareness about the impact of multiple sclerosis and was working on two public events slated for later in the year.
The first would be an MS Walk in June. Last year 80 people did the walk around Lake Weeroona and she hoped for more to come this year. The second would be Bendigo's first MS mega swim, a 24 hour marathon in which businesses would compete to raise funds.
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