Fundraising Handover

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Ever since my diagnosis of MS in 2013, I had always wanted to give back to the charities that gave me support when I needed it most. After I had got my head around the fact that I had this long term health condition, I wanted to arm myself with as much information as I could.

The MS Society was the first website I came across and it provided me with stacks of knowledge and advice on how to come to terms with everything. The first thing I did, was to order (what felt like a million and one!) information booklets covering everything I needed to know about my diagnosis. Symptoms, treatments, how to recover from relapses; basically anything and everything relating to MS, I ordered copies of. There was so much to find out and although some of the information didn’t relate to me at that present time, I knew that it could one day.

When things got really tough and I needed to talk to someone, I called up their helpline to ramble to a friendly voice. I asked about various treatments, what sort of future I could expect and many other random questions. The lady I spoke to was very friendly and understanding of my fears and put my mind at ease.

Their social forum was and still is, one of the most valuable tools I have found to cope with everday hiccups of living with a chronic condition. When I am unsure about a strange symptom, want some advice on what medication to consider taking or just generally connecting with others in the same position as myself; this is where I always head to.

So when work mentioned in their weekly bulletin, that they were looking for their next charity to support; I knew I had to get involved.

Over the course of 6 months, myself and my team organised various events across our office in order to raise any funds for the charity. I would like to mention that ‘come to work in your onesie day’ should be an every day event! This was just one of the charity days held; along with cake sales, dressing up as ghoulish characters on Halloween and dress down days. In total we managed to raise £550.11 which I was chuffed to pieces with. A special shout out to Barbara and Chris (my Mum’s friends), who also donated money after reading this blog – thank you so much!

I instantly got in touch with the Southampton and District Branch of The MS Society to let them know of our efforts. I organised for Donna and Debbie from the branch, to come to the office so that I could find out more about what they do.

The local branches organise various events and support groups for MS sufferers, as well as friends and families to get involved in. Meet ups, information talks and excersise classes; the branch covers it all. They work hard to fundraise the much needed money in order to run these events, as well as raising awareness for such an important cause. I hope to carry on raising as much money as I can for them in any way possible.

MS in the press

Something that must be said before I ramble on, is that Bella is not being kind to me as of recent (what a bitch!). I have had a few busy weekends in a row which has led to my fatigue being pretty unbearable, along with some random body spasms, rubbish vision and generally feeling off balance and spaced out.
My work colleagues have noticed that I am visibly more wobbly around the office as well, with them joking that they are going to carry me back to my desk after walking to the printer (cheeky buggers!). No point in being a worrier though, I know I just need to relax this weekend which is exactly what I intend on doing! 
With this in mind, please be kind if this post makes no sense whatsoever 🙂 

I thought I would do this post as I have seen Multiple Scleoris mentioned in various forms throughout the last week. I will always remember seeing Multiple Sclerosis mentioned for the first time on TV, when Jack Osbourne appeared in the MS Society Lifeline appeal video on BBC1. It was inspiring to see someone raise awareness for a cause that I could 100 percent relate to in so many ways (he also injects Copaxone as his disease modifying drug daily, just like me!).

I am an avid follower of all MS related press articles, which in turn is helping me learn new information about this disease daily. I also get some strange sense of pride when I have people say things like ‘I saw this programme the other day and the person featured had MS just like you!’. If it is bringing awareness and understanding to others, then to me; this is a step in the right direction on a much larger scale.

With this in mind, here are my top 3 finds this week of media which has kept me feeling positive and feeling like a warrior:

The People’s Strictly for Comic Relief

Episode 1 out of 4 is on tonight at 9pm on BBC1 (I’m sure this will be featured on iPlayer as well if you miss it!) and features Trishna (volunteer from the MS society and MS warrior). Dancing, raising awareness and hopefully bringing in more donations for the MS society from this being broadcast can only be a good thing in my opinion!  

In Pictures: What multiple sclerosis means to me

I saw the link to this article on the Shift.ms twitter page (another great social network for MSers!) and it really caught my attention. Photography was my BA hons degree choice and it has been a long time since graduating in 2011, where I have seen a series of photographs that instantly struck a chord with me. All the photographs were taken by MS sufferers and it is putting a positive twist on a nasty disease. Can’t get more warrior, than that!

Awkward Bitch – My Life with MS

This was the first book I ever read about MS. I remember being in waterstones and browsing the various selection of books surrounding MS and neurological conditions. All I saw was factual and quite frankly boring looking textbooks on the shelves. Then I came across this and I knew this would be completely up my street.
Marlo Donato Parmelee writes honestly about her diagnosis of MS and how it affected her life. Although in parts this book can be quite hard hitting, it is bound to make you laugh and smile as well. I would definitely recommend this is a must have, for MS warriors and their army of friends and family members. When my vision and concentration starts to behave itself again, I’ll be re reading this.

Have you seen your invisible illness mentioned anywhere recently? Have you got any recommendations on similar articles? Maybe we aren’t so invisible anymore..