Stewart writes about a wonderful lunch gathering we had with friends who, like the two of us, either have MS or have a close family member with MS. Jeremy Wright, CEO of MS Research Australia, described the outcome of this gathering of friends, at a famous Paris restaurant, the Paris F5m ‘Manifesto’.
Lunch at the Bofinger (where else?) with friends from Australia, Margaret and Graham, Ron and Sue in late January was a great occasion.
The Bofinger is reported to be the original Paris brasserie and is only a 10 minute amble from our boat (in the wheelchair of course). You can wheel straight in off the street through a door at the front, right next to its revolving door.
Margaret and Graham now live in Manchester and had come “across the ditch” for the catch up. Ron and Sue had been living in a house in a little village in Italy for seven months and were on their way to London to get the plane home to Australia.
It was a great time together. I had met them all at meetings of a group called F5m which stands for Foundation 5 million.
F5m was founded several years back by the late Ian Ballard who challenged and led fellow people with MS and their families and friends to raise money for research into the causes and a cure for MS.
In April this year it will reach its 5 million dollar target; a great achievement and a wonderful example of self-help at its very best. F5m also provides a great sense of purpose and fellowship to all who are lucky enough to be involved.
A big topic of discussion over lunch was what and where should F5m go and what should its next goal be once it hits its five million? Some exciting ideas were suggested for Ron to take back for consideration by the rest of the F5m “family”.
Some followers of our adventures on Endellion might remember that we used our 2008 trip as an F5m fund-raising tool and we are very grateful for the support we received.
A few days after our lunch we all heard the exciting news that MS Research Australia’s founding chairman and Person with MS Simon McKeon had been named the Australian of the Year for 2011.
And in the past few days we have learnt that our friends at F5m, back in Australia, must have been thinking along similar lines to us in our ‘Manifesto’ and Simon McKeon and the Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir, will be announcing news of F5m’s new target at a big celebration on Friday 15th April, 2011. Fantastic news!
Learn more about F5m here: http://www.f5m.org.au/
Read a story about F5m founder Ian Ballard in 2008 in the Sydney Morning Herald here:
Learn more about the projects MS Research Australia is funding here: http://www.msra.org.au/