MEET MIM HAIGH
13 MARCH 2022
Mim works as a sportswriter for Athlete Assessments, a sports consultancy based in Brisbane which specialise in the ‘people side’ of sport.
“Every day I get to practice my writing skills and write stories about people and content that inspires me.”
Mim also loves to write creatively.
“Writing sustains me. It’s what I have to do to get by.”
Mim was awarded an MS Go for Gold Scholarship for a one on one consultation with Literary Consultant Jacqui Winn to improve her manuscript and ability as a writer.
Mim first heard of the MS Go for Gold Scholarship through her support worker Nadia.
“At first, I just couldn’t believe it – a grant to pursue your dreams – I’d never heard of such a thing.”
“I was so surprised to be successful and I am ever so grateful, the scholarship has already made a huge difference to my life, even just for the fact that someone believed in me enough to financially support my dreams is a huge confidence boost.”
Mim felt humbled to win this particular scholarship, in honour of the late Nikki Genders from the Lendlease Lappers.
“From what MS and Nikki’s teammates from The Lendlease Lappers have told me about her, she was such a vibrant person who made a huge contribution to the MS community as well as her family, friends and work colleagues. I’ve really enjoyed the brief opportunity to get to know the Lendlease Lappers and Nikki continues to make a difference to my life each day and the overall direction it will take.”
Mim’s manuscript is a story about hope.
“Hope is such a rare, valuable and precious thing.”
“It's easily destroyed and hard to find among the challenges of today’s world. Hope can grow within our hearts when we attach to a character's story.”
“The story’s main character is a 15 year old girl, she faces seemingly insurmountable challenges, with people constantly telling her that what she wants is not possible, and of course in the end she is successful.? It’s uplifting and I hope inspiring.”
While the story is fictional, the decisions Mim’s main character makes are based on the decisions that she has made in the last 10 years when her way of life and very existence has been challenged due to MS.
Mim’s already making progress toward finishing her manuscript.
“I have set a couple of dates, deadlines for me to meet; I will finish the plot outline and character profiles by the end of 2021 and the story by the end of 2022.”
“We plan for Jacqui to review my work in three parts, giving me feedback on the characters, the situations they find themselves in and the structure of the story. We will work over email and in-person. It should be lots of fun and I’m really looking forward to her feedback.”
“I’m just so thrilled that I can work with her, and the MS Go for Gold Scholarship made that possible.”
Mim was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at 35, when her son was just two years old. She had finished competitive rowing, winning five NSW State Titles, and running a half marathon in under two hours.
“Within four years of diagnosis, I was living in a nursing home, my son was living with my mother and I was full-time in a wheelchair with no functional use of my arms and legs.”
“There were no treatments which were effective for my kind of MS even though I tried everything from daily injections to six monthly infusions. I was spiralling downward and losing function rapidly. The only thing that ever made me feel better was exercise. I kept it up with a physio session and exercise physiology on average three times a week.”
When Mim couldn’t complete or initiate movements herself, the physios and support workers helped her.
“I now have a team of 18 support workers who look after me 24/7. I live in my own home and have done ever since I got out of the nursing home.”
“I have a job that I love, a relationship with my son that I’m so proud of and writing skills that develop each day-all in all I would say that I’m very happy with my life, even though the logistics are very different to what I would have ever imagined.”
To anyone living with multiple sclerosis, Mim says to never give up hope.
“Find out all the facts about your diagnosis. There are such excellent treatments now, in consultation with your neurologist you can holt the disease with the right treatment. Exercise, exercise, exercise. Work with an Exercise Physiologist and get a good program, set time frames and specific goals for yourself and NEVER GIVE UP.”