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OLYMPICS:Jodie gets set to carry torch for MS sufferers
WHEN 19-year-old Jodie Evans was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, her only thought was to ask she would ever be able to have children.
Lying in hospital on a drip and terrified about her future, the Witney teenager took a long time coming to terms with the diagnosis.
But six years later, she will seize the once-in-a-lifetime to carry the Olympic torch in front of all her colleagues at BMW’s Mini factory in Cowley and prove that MS will not rule her life.
She is one of four workers at the Cowley car factory who will carry the torch through the plant on Monday, July 9.
The now 25-year-old said: “When I was first told I would be doing this, it didn’t sink in. But as it’s getting closer, it’s becoming real.
“I’m so excited to have it coming through work.
“It will be lovely to have everyone there supporting me.”
Miss Evans said that although she was diagnosed with MS at 19, the signs were there much earlier.
She said: “Looking back on it, there were definitely symptoms when I was about 14 or 15.
“I started to get tingling and pins and needles in my feet but I didn’t think anything of it.
“But then they started to last longer.”
After many visits to the doctor, brain scans and other tests, the confirmation she was dreading finally came.
Miss Evans said: “I could barely walk and I couldn’t see very well, I could see three of everything.
“I was lying in hospital on a drip, completely out of it when they told me they knew it was MS.
“My first question, which was something that had never crossed my mind before was ‘can I still have children?’.
“Then I asked if I could drive. But that was it. I didn’t feel anything.”
Multiple Sclerosis is a neurological condition which can leave sufferers fatigued and facing problems with their walking and vision.
Miss Evans added: “After the diagnosis I started reading about MS. But I couldn’t read a whole leaflet without bursting into tears.
“I still have times when I cannot believe it.
But I am more angry about it now – and determined to live my life.”
The recruitment adviser keeps her symptoms at bay with three weekly injections and said that although she has days when the condition can affect her movement, it is under control.
As well as working at the Mini plant since 2004, she often spends her weekends raising money for the MS Society.
The Olympic torch will pass through Oxfordshire on July 9 and 10. It will pass through the Mini plant on its way into Oxford’s celebration event at South Park.
Miss Evans will be joined by BMW colleagues Brian Staite, Nigel Roberts and Tom Bennett. They were all nominated to take part by workmates.