When Michelle Taylor broke a bone by twisting her ankle in December 2017, she thought it was unusual.
But when the Shell Cove woman snapped her ankle again the following December, she knew something wasn't right with her body.
"Unbeknown to us at the time, multiple sclerosis flares up in the heat," she said.
"So I broke my ankle two Decembers in a row on hot days. I was flaring up without realising it and it just made my ankles weak so just a simple twist of the ankle meant they broke.
"That was kind of what led to the diagnosis, just these floppy legs that weren't working very well."
Since her diagnosis, Ms Taylor has received treatment for her MS symptoms, but says the "invisible illness" has been life changing and remains little understood.
"It's been really hard - there's a lot of grief and anger for what I've lost and what has been taken from me," she said.
She said her children, who are 12 and 13, had also had to adjust to a life where their mum can't always do things for them.
"Day to day is hard," she said.
"I battle a lot with fatigue and brain fog, and I can't walk far at all or unassisted.
"This means I can't do things like grocery shopping, I can't take the kids to the shops to get them school supplies, and is also means I don't get to do things with the family, like going to the shops for a coffee or a bushwalk.
"It's like being a spectator in your own life sometimes."
She said she wanted people to be aware that people with MS may not look like they need support, but they might internally be struggling.
"You might look good on the surface, or people tell you that you look well today, but I might be struggling with my legs not working, or fatigue or brain fog, shaking hands, blurred vision," she said.
"I've got a disabled parking permit, and I'm always getting funny looks - or sometimes people even yelling at me - even though I can barely walk.
"It's also important for people to know that MS affects everyone differently."
Only weeks before she had been diagnosed, Ms Taylor's husband Aaron rode in the 2018 MS Gong Ride, a charity even which has become a vital source of inspiration and support for her and her family over the past five years.
"I was there with him that year, really unwell, suffering in the heat and walking around wondering what was wrong," she said.
"I then got diagnosed a couple of months later - which was a real shock - so the ride means a lot and it's quite personal and it's definitely something close to our hearts."
They have raised over $250,000 for the cause in that time, and are on track to raise more than ever in this year's November 4 event.
The ride aims to raise $3 million dollars for those living with MS. For more details see msgongride.org.au
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