Hannah Aitken is a force to be reckoned with. She runs a successful corporate branding business, is a single mum to Billyrose, 13, and in April she took home gold in an Auckland bodybuilding competition. She also has relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS).
“I’ve always been very stubborn,” says Hannah, 40, who was bedridden with pneumonia 48 hours before the Weekly visited her at her South Auckland home. “I’ve never let having MS stop me doing anything. A couple of days ago, I had blood pouring out of my nose. But I was determined to be ready for this interview – and I am.”
It’s a typical response from Hannah, who first showed signs of the chronic central nervous system disease aged 17. “I was so tired, I couldn’t get out of bed,” she recalls. “I had no idea it was MS – why would I? Then when I was 19, I got shingles, which was a dead giveaway.” (There is evidence that people who get shingles are more likely to develop MS.)