Jo walks her own path with the help of Activ to claim her 10th marathon

Running a marathon is an incredible achievement for anyone, let alone if you have multiple sclerosis. Just ask the gutsy Jo Penkin, who’s been living with MS for thirty years and is embarking on her 10th marathon at the Perth Chevron City to Surf for Activ this year on August 26.

Jo’s inspiring feat will take a different route, thanks to the support of Activ. Instead of running the 42.2km at the event, Jo has been walking 1km each day since early July on a treadmill in her garage. On August 5, Jo will reach the half way point at home, and on the day of the fun run will complete her final 1,200 metres on a Sporty Walker alongside other runners, with the support of friends and family.

“It’s been 12 months of slow and steady training to be able to walk 1km each day, which takes about 22 minutes,” said Jo. “I wanted to show people that if you stay positive and motivated, you can do anything.”

Diagnosed at 24 years of age, Jo never let MS stop her and has completed nine marathons between 1990 and 1996. Up until 2013, she managed to keep her MS at bay until a serious episode resulted in a loss of balance and drop foot. Thinking she’d never regain the strength to perform simple activities again, a life changing device the WalkAide, has enabled her to gradually regain mobility by sending electrical stimulation to lift her toes.

Activ’s CEO Danielle Newport commented, “When Jo approached us earlier this year, we were so touched by her story and inspired by her motivation, we didn’t even stop to think about the logistics, we just said yes. Activ plays an important role in encouraging inclusivity within our community and Jo is a great example of showing that your abilities have no boundaries.”

An ‘Activ Hero’, Jo aspires to be the event’s highest overall fundraiser with her contagious energy already raising nearly $3,500 for Activ, with an end goal of $10,000. To support Jo, visit her page at
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Chevron City to Surf for Activ marathon, which is the biggest in WA, fielding over 1,000 runners including some of Australia’s top distance athletes. If a marathon’s not for you, there is something for everyone with rolling, walking and running options over 4, 12 and 21 kilometres. Registrations are open at

You too could be an #ActivHero by raising vital funds for Activ and help reach our $1 million target. Visit

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