Levin woman runs to shine a light on Guillain-Barré syndrome and mental health

DAVID UNWIN/Stuff

Lini Laike Moes, 20, with her training partner Rio.

A Levin woman runs back from a rare disease and raises money and awareness along the way.

Lini Laike Moes, 20, has her sights set on running a half marathon less than a year after being hospitalized with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS).

During her training, she raises funds and awareness for the GBS support group and the Mental Health Foundation.

Moes said she had just returned to Horowhenua last May, after working and living in Waikato, when she started experiencing tingling sensations in her feet.

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Moes plans to hold the Queenstown Half Marathon in March to raise funds and awareness for the GBS support group and the Mental Health Foundation.

DAVID UNWIN/Stuff

Moes plans to hold the Queenstown Half Marathon in March to raise funds and awareness for the GBS support group and the Mental Health Foundation.

For the next five or six days she could not sleep and then had difficulty trying to get up from the couch, and she was admitted to hospital where she spent the next seven weeks.

Those seven weeks were split between Palmerston North Hospital, including time spent in intensive care due to respiratory problems, and Star 4 ward in Levin.

She was diagnosed with GBS, a rare disease where the immune system attacks the nerves.

While the GBS recovery rate was quite good, especially for young people, it was still scary.

“There was probably a week or two where I didn’t really know if I was going to walk.

“We talked about wheelchair options, I had people visit who had it, and they spent over two years in a wheelchair before they could even start learning to walk again.”

Moes had suffered severe nerve damage to her hands and feet, which she said took a long time to heal.

She had returned to live and work in Horowhenua and had started training for a half marathon.

Before she was diagnosed with GBS, her goal was to run the Queenstown Marathon, but now she was aiming to run the half marathon, which had been postponed until March 19, 2022 due to Covd-19.

Moes was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare disease where the immune system attacks the nerves.

DAVID UNWIN/Stuff

Moes was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare disease where the immune system attacks the nerves.

She wanted to do something for GBS but also for the Mental Health Foundation because her view of mental health had changed as a result of her illness.

It wasn’t until she was discharged from hospital and completed a month-long contract farming course at Masterton, the first time she had been on her own since hospitalization, that she questioned her Mental Health.

“I kind of thought, ‘Man, I wonder if I’m okay after all this’, and I realized I wasn’t okay at all, I wasn’t okay.

“You just have to get used to the new normal because you’re not the same person after that, physically but also mentally you’re not the same.

“I had always thought that when it comes to mental health, you just have to cheer yourself up, you know, I never really understood it because I just never experienced it, and I think that a lot of people are probably in the same boat.”

She said that when you’re sick, you think, “I’ll be happy when I can walk, or I’ll be happy when I can do this,” and your mind has been trained not to be present.

It would get you through that period, but it wasn’t a good mentality to have once you got out of the hospital, she said.

Moes was fundraising on Givealittle, and any money raised would be split between Guillain-Barré Syndrome and CIDP Support Group New Zealand, and the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.

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