"I WANT to show my children that a positive mindset can help you to heal and achieve anything you set your heart on.” 

These are the words of Verity Lovelock, an architect who is set to climb Kilimanjaro.

The 34-year-old, who works for BBD Architects in Romsey, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in January 2008.

The lifelong condition can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of symptoms, including problems with vision, limb movement and balance.

“The first year was a roller coaster. I had six relapses in six months and I struggled to walk, talk, feed myself or get myself dressed. It was a scary time, not knowing if I would get better or continue to get worse,” the mother-of-two said.

But thanks to the support of the MS Society, her life changed for the better and she now wants to raise £4,800 for the charity by climbing Kilimanjaro in August.

“If one day I am in the position where I cannot walk again, I want to be able to say I climbed a mountain. I want to show my children that hard work, dedication and a positive mindset can help you to heal and achieve anything you set your heart on,” Ms Lovelock said.

After she was diagnosed with the condition she said she threw herself into physiotherapy and can now feel her legs again.

“So I better keep using them,” she said.

Ms Lovelock, who is originally from Portsmouth, added: “The MS Society has provided me with information on progression of disease, medication, diet and shown me case studies of others with the disease, as well as sending a lovely lady round from my local branch to help me fill in appeal forms when I was refused disability benefits.

“I also threw myself into physiotherapy and looking after my body,” she added.

Now she said she is looking forward to her challenge and is asking the Romsey community to support her.

“My life is in Romsey now,” she added.

Mountain Warehouse in the town centre has donated her a kit and she is now set to run a series of fundraising events, including a quiz night at the Totton Rugby Club on March 29.

To take part email verity@bbd-architects.co.uk.

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/verity-lovelock4.