Hawke's Bay multiple sclerosis sufferer Holly Ramsay is on track to take part in the Multiple Steps for Multiple Sclerosis fundraising walk this week, the fifth time the event has been held.
Mrs Ramsay will be joined by her family and friends on Wednesday, but has already completed the course multiple times, having walked it three times a week for the last three years.
Living with MS for the last 8 years, she said a new drug, Tysabri, that she started taking about 18 months ago had been instrumental in helping her feel fit enough to tackle the challenge, which illness prevented her from participating in in 2014.
"Since I have been taking it I have not had any relapses and am in good health.
"Before that I was very sick and having three to four relapses a year - this drug has been a lifesaver," she said.
Although she suffered somewhat from fatigue and sore leg muscles, regular gym visits and other exercise, including her regular thrice-weekly walks, meant she felt good, although she was unable to work.
"I'm lucky to have a supportive husband that lets me look after me," she said.
Completing the walk most days with a close friend, she said the pair had both lost significant amounts of weight over the last year or two as a result.
"The hill walking has been crucial to helping that."
She said it was exciting to help organisers with the annual event, and her aim was to assist with growing it into the future.
Multiple Steps for Multiple Sclerosis was first held on the network of stairs on Bluff Hill in 2012, with 124 entrants.
That rose to 266 participants in 2014, who raised more than $2300 in the process, and last year 380 people took part, and the event raised more than $3500.
Tomorrow there are three options for people to challenge themselves with.
There is a 10km "Gut Buster" starting at 5.45pm, a 5km event starting at 6pm both going up to the Bluff Hill Lookout and back, and a less strenuous 5km run-walk on the flat of the Rotary Pathway.
The cost is $10 per person or $30 for a family with up to three children, with all proceeds staying in Hawke's Bay and going to the Hawke's Bay Multiple Sclerosis Society.
There will be spot prizes, and society Hawke's Bay office manager Nicola Brown said participants can register online before Wednesday at www.hawkesbaymultiplesclerosis.org or on the night before the event starts, although organisers preferred it to be done in advance.
For more information contact Nicola: phone - 835 8542; email - firstname.lastname@example.org