A WOMAN with multiple sclerosis has vowed not to let the condition stand in her way as she takes up a new challenge.

Gill Lewis is pledging to walk each day with her dog to take part in Colchester-based MS-UK’s Big Purple Dog Walk.

The Big Purple Dog Walk sees dogs up and down the UK don purple bandanas and put their paws to the pavement to complete walking challenges through the month of March.

Gill, 52, who lives in Harwich with her husband, Steve, was diagnosed with MS in 2015.

She worked at Colchester Borough Homes in support and tenancy sustaining, helping the homeless and people under 25.

Gill said: “Work was extremely busy. I was managing a team of eight, who were supporting vulnerable people in the community.

“Support for many groups kept the team busy including tenants with medical conditions struggling in their present home.”

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Determined - Gill with her rollator and OtisDetermined - Gill with her rollator and Otis

However, Gill said her condition has worsened as the MS progressed. Her right leg has become increasingly difficult to lift and now requires a brace.

She had to take medical retirement a year and a half ago due to her MS and has had to adapt the challenge accordingly.

Gill added: “I cannot walk far at the moment and use a rollator but I do short walks with my sausage dog Otis with lots of stops to sit down.

“For The Big Purple Dog Walk I’m going to set the challenge of taking Otis to a different place each day.

“I live near the beach so can go to different parts of the promenade, as well as other places. It will be good for me as well as Otis as it will make me go out each day.”

All dogs signed up take part in MS-UK’s challenge will receive their own purple bandana.

If they raise more than £100, each pooch will receive a rosette and a certificate to mark their achievement.

Last year despite the pandemic, dogs and their owners raised £7,365 for the charity MS-UK, which offers support services for people affected by MS.

To find out more about the Big Purple Dog Walk, and sign up call 01206 226500.