In a world first, MS sufferer Joe Ramsden 360° live streams his London Marathon with LiveU

 London, May 2024: Three years ago to the day the 2024 TCS London Marathon took place, Joe Ramsden found himself suddenly unable to walk and see and was admitted to hospital. Uncontrollably vomiting at every attempt to open his eyes, he had no idea what was happening and nor did the doctors. After four similar incidents and being in and out of hospital – during the last one he lost the feeling and full use of his left arm and hand – he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Joe Ramsden - London Marathon.
Having been put on the most advanced medication possible, and having regained the use of his arm, he made progress. In December 2023, Joe’s MS status changed and he is currently at a high risk of a life threatening brain infection called PML. His doctors and nurses are doing all they can to change his medication to minimize the risk, but his MS journey continues.

Joe said, “As soon as the world started giving me a break again and I started to feel better and healthier after those four incidents, I had it in my mind I wanted to run. And I wanted to try and find a way of showing what it looks like when people are having a really rough time; that it’s okay to be struggling and we shouldn’t hide away from those things. Running this marathon brings this together with me being the example. It didn’t look pretty me doing this and I had a really, really rough time. But I got through it. I wanted to inspire people. Your typical Instagram post this wasn’t.”

The idea grew from wanting to have a camera pointing at his face showing how bad he looks when struggling to wanting to bring a whole event to life. He said, “The 360° camera is very cool and the benefit of people being able to control what they are looking at is brilliant, allowing people who will never be able to do this because of their life circumstances to really get a sense of what it’s like. This also meant live streaming it because had this been filmed and edited, that immediacy and sense of being there would have been removed; it had to be live to bring those raw emotions to the screen.”

Joe set about understanding what would be required to stream his whole event live, 360°, not to mention an intense training regime. After many companies ignored him across a variety of technological requests, he contacted LiveU. He said, “I received a really great email from Matt Stringer at LiveU in the UK and he immediately understood what I was trying to do and why. It gave me such a lift. It’s hard to describe how incredible this was.”

LiveU supplied an LU300S for the event, compact-yet-powerful portable 4G/5G field unit for broadcast operations and live coverage on-the-go, as well as LiveU Studio, the company’s cloud live video production service, to provide rock-solid connectivity for streaming to YouTube. Transmission TX stepped up to the plate when it came to the camera and audio while The Grip Company developed a purpose-built rig. This was designed to spread the weight as best as possible for the run while also taking into account cable placement. It was quite a task.

Joe added, “I did it! It was incredibly tough, by far the hardest thing I have ever done, but I did it! I really hope people got as much of a sense of the challenge as possible via the incredible technology I used. I really do want to thank all those who helped make this a reality. I hope I inspire people to try new things, however difficult they may appear.”

Matt Stringer, Sales Director, LiveU said, “It’s not very often you are contacted by someone like Joe with the challenges he faces and what he wanted to do. In a heartbeat I knew we could help and we are very, very pleased to do so. Watching him battle his way through what was clearly a difficult journey really touched us at LiveU and we are proud to support you Joe. Well done, Joe. Really well done,”

Joe’s charities of choice are The MS Society and Mind UK. Check out all the details here:

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