Toni Krok, a North London mum (from Golders Green) has raised in excess of £75,000 by successfully conquering Mount Etna – Europe’s highest active volcano – to launch her new charity, MS Positive.
Together with her husband, Dov, and 25 friends and supporters, Toni, who diagnosed with MS ten years ago, climbed over a kilometre in height, crossing two fresh lava fields, to make it to Etna’s 3,345m summit, before running down over 400metres of loose rock and scree.
The ascent marks the launch of MS Positive, which will support individuals and families in North London affected by multiple sclerosis. The charity – which Toni is setting up together with best friends, Janine Oppenheim and Pam Pamensky – will provide a phone-line staffed by and for people with MS, a regular programme of exercise and fitness classes, and emotional and practical support and advice through a range of forums.
The group walked over 60km in just three days, ascending 2km in total, to raise considerably more than double their original fundraising target. Further donations can still be made via their website mspositive.co.uk, where you can read more about their planned activities.
“MS affects everyone differently. We have good days and bad days and we can’t control that. But what we can control is how we respond to what we are going through.
“As Sir Edmund Hillary said: “it is not the mountain that we conquer, but ourselves”. Being alone with my thoughts as I climbed I found a peacefulness with myself and with my diagnosis and my life. Staying positive – focusing on what we can-do rather than what we can’t – is what MS Positive is all about. Climbing Etna was about showing what we can do when we put our minds to it. That’s why we are calling MS Positive, “the MS charity with the can-do attitude”.
MS Positive will hold its first class on Sunday 19th November, to coincide with Mitzvah Day, the Jewish Day of social action. The class – at 10am at the Kung Fu studios on St Alban’s Lane, NW11 – will be free and open to anyone with MS and their family members. You can turn up on the day or pre-book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org today.