AFTER being diagnosed with MS Bev Wright set her sights firmly on fundraising.

Attending a fundraising event organised by a friend two days following her diagnosis, Bev was sufficiently inspired and set about arranging her own event.

Nine months later Bev, with the help and support of her friends, organised her first Black Tie Ball and now she is looking forward to hosting her fourth Ice Ball (Inspiring Change through Education).

In the four years since she began fundraising, Bev, along with her supporters, have swelled the coffers of a number of neurological charities to the tune of £26,000. It is a staggering amount and will make such a difference to the recipients. Charities who have already benefited include the MS Society and the West Yorkshire MS Therapy Centre.

Bev and her supporters are currently raising funds for the Yorkshire Brain Research Centre, within the Leeds Teaching Hospital Charitable Foundation, which Bev explains is working towards improving diagnosis and treatments for a range of neurological conditions including MS, Parkinsons, Epilepsy and Stroke.

The centre will benefit from Bev's latest fundraiser, a black tie ball taking place at The Craiglands Hotel, Ilkley, on November 11.

Sponsored by The Yorkshire Clinic in Bingley, the event is also being supported by a very special guest - Emmerdale actor, Duncan Preston.

Bev explains how she plucked up the courage to approach the actor who was attending an event in her home village of Menston. "I saw him at an event I went to in the village and he was such a lovely guy."

Bev explained about her forthcoming fundraising function and Duncan agreed to be the special guest.

Now she is busy planning the ball which, as well as the dinner, includes live music, a silent and live auction.

"I have a group of friends who help me and we have some amazing raffle and auction prizes."

For Bev, planning the fundraisers has brought a welcome distraction from MS (Multiple Sclerosis).

The condition affects the brain and/or spinal chord causing a wide range of potential symptoms including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance. It can cause serious disability.

It is estimated more than 100,000 people are diagnosed with MS in the UK and is more commonly diagnosed in people in their 20s and 30s, although it can develop at any age.

Bev was approaching her Fifties when she was diagnosed.

"I was a fitness instructor for 20 years and probably around 2012 I was thinking 'you are not ageing very well' because I wasn't able to do things I had been able to do."

The initial tell-tale sign that something may be wrong was a numb feeling in her rib cage. Bev had mentioned it to her physiotherapist who had been helping her with a hip problem. She also noticed weakness in her shoulder.

Encouraged by her physiotherapist to see her GP, Bev made an appointment and admits she was shocked when she was told she needed to have an emergency MRI scan.

"Within weeks two weeks I was told I had MS."

Although she had heard about the condition, like many people, she wasn't familiar with it. "Most people have heard of it. I suppose it is only if you know somebody you find out a little bit more about it.

"My first words were 'will I end up in a wheelchair?'"

Bev explains being told the condition affects people in different ways. "They call it the snowflake disease because they are all different," says Bev.

It will be five years ago in February since she received her diagnosis - a day to remember in more ways than one. "It was Valentine's Day - most people get champagne and roses, I got MS," says Bev.

"It was terrible. I think the first year I tried to get out of bed checking my arms and legs and making sure they were still there because I didn't know how it would manifest itself."

Bev's mobility has been affected by the condition - so much so she has been forced to give up her job as a fitness instructor.

But instead of letting MS get her down, she's found another way to channel her energies - through fundraising.

"I didn't want to go from having a job to being sat at home thinking 'what is happening now.' I wanted a purpose.

"The other thing you think you are going to be the person to find a cure. Google must be sick of me putting in questions about MS and trying to find the answer."

Arranging the fundraisers are hard work but Bev relishes the challenge of her new-found rewarding role, and she says is brings a real sense of achievement.

"Everybody has a brilliant time you raise so much money," adds Bev.

As well as raising money for research, they have also put some of the proceeds into brightening the walls with artwork and investing in reclining chairs at a hospital unit linked to the Yorkshire Brain Research centre.

For someone who has always been active throughout their life, Bev finds it frustrating that she cannot do what she used to be able to do - but the most important thing is she doesn't let it get her down and fundraising is certainly her forte.

"It gives me a purpose, I have got something to aim for. That is what it is all about - it gives me a reason," adds Bev.

For more information about the ball, or to get involved, visit I have also attached our logo and the poster. Tickets are available from

To find out more about MS visit