As my regular readers will know, I don't go into much detail about my personal life on the blog (occasionally the woes of being a grown up or my personal struggles with housework). Today however, I am going to get a tiny bit personal as my sister is fundraising for MS Trust and I wanted to share with you a personal experience.
A few years ago, one of my nearest and dearest (who shall remain anonymous) was diagnosed with MS. I won't be going into the personal struggles of that person or the people around them but MS takes it toll in so many ways untold.
Recently my sister told me that she plans on jumping out of a plane (along with 4 other members of my family) to raise money for MS Trust. This may not mean a lot to most people, especially if you have no knowledge or experience of MS. That is why I want to share this with you today.
"MS: A Personal Account
In its dormant or remitting form, MS is a sensory memory of the battle scars of previous civil wars within ones own body. Each war casts its own new scar and memory on the nervous system. Such wars take place during the active (or relapse phase) between the immune system and the nerve cells, where the nerve cells have their protective layer shredded, resulting in scrambled messages to the brain. This leads to a variety of sensory effects, including blind spots, loss of colour vision, tingling sensations, spasms, shortness of breath, incontinence and even paralysis. The lucky ones have breaks between relapses; known as relapsing and remitting or, ironically, R&R. During this period they reform the protective layer of the attacked nerve cells. The reforming process is imperfect and leaves the memory or sensory scar. The unlucky ones have progressive MS where relapses run one-in-to-the-other and the system has little time to re-protect and recover. The really fun part is that someone in remission never knows when the next relapse is coming and where the spinning-reels will stop, there is no way to predict what is coming next and when it will arrive. Hence, one of the real battles of an MS'er is just keeping a positive mental outlook which is a constant daily battle. MS also effects loved ones that provide a support network. In fact, the unpredictable nature and broad symptoms of MS make it very frustrating to know how to support.
There is no cure for MS, it could go down hill very quickly or it could never go to a progressive state. Relapses could be a few months apart or a decade. There are methods and medications to slow down the occurrence of relapses, there are medications to numb the scarred nervous system and there are medications to help maintain a positive outlook. Up until recently, relapse rate drugs were mostly self administered injections or spinal infusions. Now, orally active drugs have been discovered and are popular. Perhaps the most exciting development for MS is a radical new treatment approach pioneered at the University of Sheffield. Funding must be ploughed in to full clinical trials of this approach. We are talking of people that were progressive and in wheelchairs now walking and cycling(#MSpanorama, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/…/Miraculous-results-from-new-MS…). Despite the fact that the treatment requires the patient to voluntarily have intense chemotherapy for 1-2 weeks in a clean-room, this treatment offers a light at the end of a gloomy tunnel, where there was previously no hope of ever recovering. However, much research still needs to be done for this and to further understand and predict the onset and progression of MS. Please consider sponsoring this worthy cause.
A. N. Onymous"
This was written by someone who was diagnosed with MS in 2012 having suffered two relapses (the first being dismissed as a sinus infection). This is just one of the reasons that I feel society should be better educated about MS in general. I cannot stress the importance of charities such as MS Trust who support people with MS and their loved ones as well as raising funds for research into treatments and hopefully; cures.
After reading this account, I hope that you will consider sharing this post with as many people as possible. Who knows who it may help.
If you feel that you would like to give something to this charity then you can donate via my sister's Just Giving Page to encourage her out of that plane! I would love to see her exceed her target and help her to raise as much as humanly possible (with your help) for MS Trust. Every pence helps so even if you can only spare £1, please consider as it is such a worthy cause.
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