City to Surf: Dianella local living with multiple sclerosis takes on 10th marathon

Jo Penkin has been living with MS for 30 years and is taking on her 10th marathon. Picture: Supplied.
Jo Penkin has been living with MS for 30 years and is taking on her 10th marathon. Picture: Supplied.

JO Penkin has been living with multiple sclerosis for 30 years, and is embarking on her 10th marathon.

The Dianella resident is taking on the City to Surf in a slightly different route with the support of Activ and a loaned treadmill from Orbit Fitness.

Instead of running the 42.2 kilometres on the day of the event, Ms Penkin has been walking one kilometre each day since early July on a treadmill in her garage.

She will complete her final 1.2 kilometres on a Sporty Walker on August 26 at the event alongside other runners with the support of friends and family.

“It’s been 12 months of slow and steady training to be able to walk one kilometre each day, which takes about 22 minutes,” she said.

“I wanted to show people that if you stay positive and motivated, you can do anything.”

Ms Penkin was diagnosed with MS at 24, and completed nine marathons between 1990 and 1996.

While a 2013 episode resulted in loss of balance and drop foot, a WalkAide device enabled her to regain mobility by sending electrical stimulation to the peroneal nerve in her calf.

Activ chief executive Danielle Newport said when Ms Penkin approached the group earlier in the year, they were touched by her story and motivation.

“We didn’t even stop to think about the logistics, we just said yes,” she said.

Ms Penkin is an ‘Activ Hero’ and aspires to be the event’s highest overall fundraiser.

To support her, visit citytosurf2018.everydayhero.com/.