Multiple Sclerosis New Zealand is pleased to award Ingrid Robertson and Joan Perry with Esme Tombleson Awards for 2022, in recognition of their outstanding contributions to people impacted by Multiple Sclerosis nationally.
Cantabrian Ingrid Robertson was diagnosed with MS in 1999, but has never let that hold her back in achieving her dreams, inspiring and supporting others by being an advocate not only in her local community, but also nationally. Since 2018 she has organised four Oceans of Hope Challenge NZ events, taking over 120 people with MS on sailing adventures. She is inspired to help others with MS to find their magnificence. Ingrid organises the sails to provide opportunities for others with MS to meet people also diagnosed, learn from each other, feel empowered, and push the limits of what they think they can achieve. Ingrid is an inspiration to everyone she meets, encouraging people to “Believe in yourself.”
Mother of a person with MS, wife and passionate advocate, Joan Perry was tired of sitting by and watching the continued delays being faced by New Zealanders in accessing Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Treatment (aHSCT). Inspired by her strong and incredible daughter, Joan wanted other New Zealanders to have the same opportunities she and her family had been afforded by the treatment, to have her daughter back. After talking with MSNZ about the continued frustrations, Joan was motivated to start a petition to call on the Government to progress the availability of the treatment. Over the next 14 months Joan took every opportunity to gather signatures from within her community and worked closely with MSNZ to promote the petition. By the end of June 2022, 10,903 had signed the petition. The petition was received and read out in Parliament on 26th July 2022. Following this, Joan worked with MSNZ to make a written submission to the Petitions Commission and an oral presentation to the Health Select Committee.
MSNZ has been proud to work with these two amazing women and advocates for the MS community. Joan’s heartfelt passion, dedication and unwavering commitment to achieving her mission is admirable. The opportunities, encouragement and light Ingrid brings to the lives of others diagnosed is truly inspirational. Multiple Sclerosis New Zealand is proud to award Ingrid Robertson and Joan Perry Esme Tombleson Awards for the 2022 year.