I am a 60’s child who grew up with three other siblings. Growing up I was always outgoing fun loving and a lover of people who enjoyed life. To put it bluntly a lover of attention and taking stage was just pure delight. As I grew older I told my mother I wanted to be on Television. She arranged for me to have an agent which led me into small parts in Grange Hill, The Bill and eventually a six-part series for the BBC in Johnny Jarvis. Coming up to my early teens I grew less interested in acting and started going out and having fun with my friends always being the centre of attention with nothing to worry about.
Leaving home as a mature adult I ventured into living independently and made a good life but still remain close to my family. Every weekend was family time.
My eldest brother Shane was diagnosed with MS in 1990. Watching him living with this condition did not wear me down even though I wish it did not happen. Little did I know that in 2003 at the age of 34 I also would be diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting MS (RRMS) one month before my brother passed away.
After my diagnosis it took me two years to come to terms with it. I still wanted to be the big independent man doing all the things I wanted to do and nothing was going to stop me. I tried my best to remain the person I was before MS, but in reality I needed to accept my condition and move on. Eventually my family decided that I had to come home so I would get the support I needed. Hard decision for me, but realising it would be the best for my existence I agreed and went.
My strength for coping with my MS comes from remembering how my brother coped. My disability was nothing compared to his but he smiles through it all and never complained. Every day I wake up I think of how fortunate I am to be able to live the life I now have with the support of my family. Often I ask myself, What would I do without them? Reply, I hope I never find out.
TSP has enabled me to meet other people with the same condition, and act as an outlet for part of my socialising. I am a people person so interaction with the right people works well for me.
Looking on the bright side, if I did not have MS there are wonderful places and people I might not have known. The knowledge I have gained through my journey with MS is invaluable, it has shown me that changes does not always mean the end. Hope my MS treats me kindly, and to all MSSERS keep strong and make every day memorable.