Over­com­ing MS to con­quer chal­lenge

Cambridge Edition - - WHAT’S ON - MIKE BAIN

Nine months ago Sue De­larue couldn’t walk 100 me­tres with­out feel­ing fa­tigued.

But re­cently she trekked 13km around the Maun­gatau­tari Moun­tain Track, from north to south, to show the mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis disease she’s bat­tling who’s boss.

The 48-year-old woman de­cided to tackle the well-known walk­ing track on her birth­day.

She worked for the Maun­gatau­tari Trust and was of­ten asked by vis­i­tors about the walk­ing tracks.

She could only give sec­ond-hand in­for­ma­tion as she had never ventured on them be­fore.

That was un­til she con­quered the Maun­gatau­tari Moun­tain Track.

‘‘It was amaz­ing, I was ner­vous as any­thing, how­ever, ex­cited that the day had fi­nally come,’’ she said.

De­larue had spent months pre­par­ing, build­ing her strength at the Cam­bridge Fit­ness Cen­tre with her per­sonal trainer Pam New­com­bWadsworth.

Her de­ter­mi­na­tion through the jour­ney had been an in­spi­ra­tion to oth­ers. Some sup­port­ers joined her at the start of the track on the north- ern side of the moun­tain.

‘‘Even my neu­rol­o­gist from Waikato Hos­pi­tal was there to sup­port me in amongst my friends, MS Waikato staff, vol­un­teers and col­leagues from the Maun­gatau­tari Trust,’’ De­larue said.

De­larue’s ex­pec­ta­tions of the first part of the jour­ney be­ing tough came true.

‘‘The first two hours were hard go­ing, steep up­hill rises, how­ever with a 21 strong sup­port group, en­cour­age­ment and laugh­ter, we made it to the top.

‘‘We all sat down to lunch at the saddle be­fore con­tin­u­ing for another four hours.’’

There were plenty of stops along the jour­ney as she watched rare birdlife and take in some views, and drink soup. ‘‘Any ex­cuse for a rest,’’ she said. When she reached the vis­i­tor cen­tre her sup­port crew was there to ap­plaud her ef­fort.

And be­cause it was her birth­day, there was a pot of tea, a dairy-free birth­day cake and flow­ers wait­ing.

‘‘I was elated and over­whelmed with my achieve­ment and thank­ful for the great sup­port.

‘‘I was smil­ing all the way, I met my goal. I lived my dream.’’

Sue De­larue ready to stroll around Maun­gatau­tari.

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