Aphrodite goes the extra mile in gruelling MS fund-raiser - The Rugby Observer

Aphrodite goes the extra mile in gruelling MS fund-raiser

A ‘THRILLED’ Rugby woman did not let Multiple Sclerosis stop her from going the extra mile in her fund-raising campaign to help combat the disease.

Kendall, 10, rowed 2,100 metres to help Aphrodite with her challenge.

Aphrodite Kotis and her friends, family, and supporters set themselves the challenge of collectively cycling the equivalent distance from London to Paris, swim the distance of the channel, and row the equivalent distance of the rivers of Britain in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

At Nuffield Health’s Rugby Fitness and Wellbeing Gym in Rugby, they aced their distance targets for rowing and cycling – and, despite falling 11km short on the swimming challenge, raised over £2,200 for the charity.

Aphrodite’s team comprised her husband Will Merriman, 16-year-old son George, personal trainer Rob Pleming, physiotherapist Devesh Chohan, MS specialist nurse Sue, and soft tissue therapist Julie Hinds.

Aphrodite said: “They all excelled themselves with their amazing stamina and efforts.

“Some gym members who were doing their usual swim or cycle workout let us take their distances into our total, and a few others came just to participate. We even had two wonderful 10-year-old youngsters Kendall and Esha, who rowed 2,100 and 2,525 metres respectively.

“Marco Murillo came specifically for the event and rowed just over 5,000 metres to support, as his sister also has MS. We were thrilled to have them on board.”

The challenge also went global when it was taken on by Aphrodite’s friend in the USA who also has MS, her old personal trainer in Crete, and her brother and sister-in-law in Australia.

She added: “The most important thing is we had a great time and hopefully made people a little more aware of Multiple Sclerosis and raised an amazing total from around the world.

“Thank you to all involved and to the Nuffield Fitness and Wellbeing Gym in Rugby for letting us use their premises for this great event.”

Left to right: Aphrodite, Personal Trainer Rob Pleming, her son George, and husband Will Merriman.

Aphrodite, who works as an artist, was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis in 2018 after she kept falling, losing her balance, and experiencing numbness – but this year has been particularly challenging.

She said: “I have been through a year of severe pain. I am regularly in pain with cramps and nerve spasms, as my neural pathways misfire.

“Also, this January I had bilateral knee replacements. This is a particularly painful process, especially while managing MS.”

With no cure yet available to MS patients, Aphrodite is determined to raise money to fund ongoing research by the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

She added: “I just keep going – living my life as normally as I can. I have a life and I don’t feel sorry for myself – that’s not my style. I won’t give up.”

Visit https://tinyurl.com/mrxxn3db to donate.

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