“Always someone worse off than yourself"
Teaching is a job Karen Davies has always loved - throughout her career Karen has taught reading, drama, dance, English and history to students from Years 7 to 12. It is something she remains passionate about - educating people to the best of their abilities!
In 2001, however, Karen medically retired from full-time teaching after she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Karen beat that tumour but two years later, she thought she may have another brain tumour. After many futile trips to her local doctor, an MRI (magnetic resonance image) was taken - the radio-oncologist who looked at the scans gave her the news that she may have multiple sclerosis. Her neurologist later confirmed her diagnosis - at the age of 48. Karen now had to learn to live with the challenge of multiple sclerosis.
Karen knew all about multiple sclerosis - her school had participated in the MS Readathon in the past - but the reality of living with multiple sclerosis was going to be entirely different. Karen decided that "although these things are sent to try us" her disease was not going to take over her life! Today, Karen teaches English as a Second Language to adults in a program run by the Anglican Churches of the Illawarra known as 'English For Life'. She also teachers Scripture at Bulli High School.
Karen, along with her trusty walking frame "Johnny", volunteers each year at the MS Sydney to the Gong Bike Ride, sitting at Wollongong Railway Station, directing a sea of lycra on to the platform where special trains transport cyclists back to Sydney. Karen has had the role of “Train Marshall” for more than ten years!
To say thank you for the help she has personally received since her diagnosis, Karen has also become an MS Ambassador to help raise the awareness of multiple sclerosis in the Illawarra region and has spoken at the Wollongong MS 24 Hour Mega Swim since it started.
Karen knows there is always someone out there worse off than her and also plans to help MS raise funds to provide care and a brighter future for other people living with the disease. Karen is an engaging lady who can't help but try to educate someone new about multiple sclerosis!