Meet Melissa: Star of MS My Story Videos!

Written by on April 9th, 2015 – No Comments

M1Hello Someone Like Me! My name is Melissa. I’m 27 years old (newly might I add!), and I was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis in late 2012, when I was 24. Before my diagnosis things were different for me, which I’m sure anyone with MS could say, really. I had recently graduated from the Toronto Film School, and was trying to get my foot in the door working in world of film production here in Toronto, something I really loved to do. After being diagnosed with MS though, things took a bit of a different turn and I ended up having to leave that behind. After just about a year of being diagnosed, and trying to learn to accept that, I decided it was time to find some new activities to keep me productive, and get excited about life again! I started trying new things that I hadn’t before. Even some things that I’d wanted to do for a long time but was a bit scared of, like taking singing lessons, travelling alone and even starting a blog of my own about it. It was around that time, I also started getting more involved with the MS Society, and joined the Youth Advisory Group (YAG). It felt like it was the right time for me to try and give back to the community that I had now found myself a part of. I didn’t really know what I could do to help, but after joining YAG I started to feel like maybe there was something I could bring to the table, something I could do to try and make some small difference in the world of MS, and maybe even involve some of the things I had learned in school!

M2Just after I had joined YAG, we started talking about creating the “MSMyStory” video series to reach out to other young people affected by MS, which felt like something that was sort of lacking at the time. When I was first diagnosed, I would’ve loved to come across videos like these, with other young people going through similar situations as I was, and sharing their stories! MS can sometimes feel really isolating, especially when you don’t know anyone else who’s been there, like myself at first, I had never even met anyone who had MS, or at least knew that they did! I think it is important to know that we’re not alone in all of this, that there are others out there who understand, and I hope that these videos help to show how true that really is.

When I heard about the project, I couldn’t wait to get involved. Having some small experience in film production, as I mentioned earlier, I thought I could use that to help get this project rolling. I reached out to my former film school, and they agreed to let us shoot the videos in one of their studios, and even let us use some of their equipment, which was great! We even had two lovely students volunteer to help us out with the filming, which was really cool. It felt good to be able to help put it all together, and I’m so thankful to everyone who had a hand in it. Our videographer, volunteers on set and off, web designers and the people we were able to interview were all great. I think it was a really positive experience for all of us, and I’m so excited to be able to share it with all of you!

M3Now being a former behind the scenes person, it did feel a little strange for me to be in front of the camera. I was more comfortable doing the interviewing, which I got to do a bit of on this project too, but I really wanted to contribute my story as well. I thought that it was something I should do, in case there was a chance someone out there could connect with me in some way, and I hoped that I could maybe even encourage others to share their own story as well! That’s a big part of this project, we really want to make this a starting point for other young people with, and affected by MS to connect with one another and share their experiences. Because we really aren’t alone in this, and I think it’s about time we showed the world that!

If you want to join in the conversation, use the hash tag #MSMyStory, or reply in the comments below. Let’s keep the discussion going, one story at a time!

– Melissa G.

MS-MyStory_Mar032015-redTo watch all of the MS My Story videos please visit: http://mystory.someonelikeme.ca/

 

To read more personal stories from Melissa check out her blog at: www.thetravellingmser.wordpress.com

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