Sometimes it’s hard to see any plus points when given unwelcome news. The majority of us, myself included, just recoil in shock and disbelief… and then the fear sets in.
When I finally received my MS diagnosis, I certainly felt the fear – but not really shock. I had been unwell for so many years, and having been greatly misdiagnosed by the medical profession over that time, for me it was almost a relief.
People – my family especially – would not think of me as a malingerer, but somebody with a genuine reason for having been so incapacitated.
I have several guilty pleasures of course, but that didn’t make the choice easy.
Because I am fortunate to have an (albeit slender) public profile, my story was taken up by The Daily Mail. They published a piece about my experience and eventual diagnosis, and as a result, I was immediately contacted by others with MS, as well as some of the more major specialist magazines and organisations. The main one being The MS Society.
They invited me to meet them and talked me through (as nobody had before) the ins and outs of the condition and the work they are doing to combat it. It was truly inspirational and such a relief.
I am fortunate in being an optimistic individual. I have huge faith in there being a benign presence floating around up there somewhere, and in times of stress that you must try to tap into the energy – if you’ll forgive me for calling it that– for a bit of support and confidence.
My meeting with the MS Society gave me just that. I found myself immediately caught up in the excitement of their work and was delighted when they asked me to be a part of it. I offered my services happily, and today I want to tell you about one of the first things I have the privilege of being involved with – a new fundraiser for MS research calledKiss Goodbye To MS.
MS affects more than 100,000 people in the UK. It is often painful and exhausting and can cause problems with how we walk, move, see, think and feel. But amazing work is being done and now more so than ever is a really important time for the condition. The MS Society is supporting cutting-edge projects to find more – and better – treatments and, with the support of some incredible scientists, believe there’s a chance we could revolutionise MS treatment in our lifetime.
So what’ve I got to do with this?
Well, firstly I have to give up a guilty pleasure for the month of May to raise some money! It’s only with the right investment that scientists can keep doing the great work they’re doing, and this is me doing my part…
I have several guilty pleasures of course, but that didn’t make the choice easy. I thought about giving up white wine and simply replacing it with red ….but that would be cheating. SO… I have chosen chocolate biscuits!
Every and every morning, no matter where I am in the world – I have to take a certain own brand of an upmarket supermarket biscuit with me, and start the day with a very English ‘dunking’ in a cup of Earl Grey!
This ritual is a bit like cleaning my teeth or showering – it’s pettily entrenched in my life.
I explain all this as I don’t want you to think ‘oh, that’s easy peasy’. It’s really not! I’m a creature of habit and can get really cranky when my routine’s disturbed. However, I believe SO much in the MS Society and what they are trying to achieve that giving up anything for them… and ultimately myself of course… will be an honour.
I’d love anyone reading this to get involved too, and help raise some much-needed cash for this unpredictable condition. Your small sacrifice could help us find new treatments for 100,000 people living with MS and their loved ones. So to sign up, just visit mssociety.org.uk/kissgoodbyetoms – and let me know how you get on here!