Author Archive

Personal Story

Written by on April 22nd, 2016 – 1 Comment

GUEST BLOGGER: PASCALE LAVALLÉE

Pascale Lavallée 1I remember that day five years ago. My dad was with me. We were sitting in the waiting room at the neurologist’s office. The secretary didn’t look very friendly – you know, the kind of person who always looks as though you’re bothering her. There were hundreds of files in the cabinets behind her. All those sick people who needed a file here to get better. I remember feeling uncomfortable to be sitting there in that chair. I felt as if I was taking the place that belonged to someone who really needed to see the doctor. There was nothing wrong with me – no more symptoms at all. It was just fatigue, or maybe the side effects of my birth control pills. So when the neurologist invited me to come into his office, I went in alone. But he suggested that I go get my father from the waiting room.

Then the diagnosis: multiple sclerosis. To me, it sounded like a skin disease. Maybe that explained my problems with eczema. When I turned to my father, I could see that something was wrong, but I knew absolutely nothing about neurology and I had no clue. My father grabbed my hand and gave me a hug – a strong hug, full of love and pain. When the neurologist started to explain the disease to me, I tried to figure out what was so serious about it. I understood that people with the disease often end up in a wheelchair after a few years. OK, fine, I can live with that, but then what? Am I going to die? Am I going to become a vegetable? Am I going to be unable to remember the people I love? No, no and no. So I was still trying to work out what was so bad. The only thing I had in mind was a planned trip to Asia; I told myself that, as long as I could travel, everything would be fine.

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$100,000 Follow the Leader scholarship awarded to exemplary Toronto student

Written by on July 14th, 2015 –

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The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada is proud to announce that Toronto student Allie Sherwin has been awarded a Follow the Leader scholarship, which is made possible by the support of the KRG Children’s Charitable Foundation. Sherwin, whose mother has primary progressive multiple sclerosis, will receive $100,000 towards her expenses throughout her four year undergraduate degree – a degree she hopes will lead to a career in MS research.

“It’s such an amazing opportunity,” says Sherwin, who is set to begin her studies at Western University in the fall. “It’s been hard to watch my mother’s health slowly get worse. This scholarship will help me make a difference in the lives of people who are dealing with the same thing.” (more…)

The Gift in MS

Written by on June 23rd, 2015 –

By: Andrea, guest blogger

grat·i·tude
/ˈɡradəˌt(y)o͞od/
noun
      the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful:

Gift.  Normally we think of happiness and gratitude when we think of receiving a gift.   What I have learned, is that sometimes those reactions can be delayed.  But when you learn to accept a gift with an open mind, gratitude eventually ensues, and your heart will begin to smile.

View More: http://lyndsayessonphotography.pass.us/andrearhI am a newcomer in the world of MS.  In fact, I basically still have a visitor’s pass, as I wait here in Limboland for the gates of MS to open.   I have one clinical symptom, optic neuritis, and a stable brain MRI that shows two lesions.  My major symptoms, other than optic neuritis, are MS fatigue, and numbness in my legs and feet.  I experienced my first symptom of optic neuritis in July of 2013.  As terrifying as it was, I remember feeling relieved.  I had been seeing different doctors for years, feeling frustrated as I looked for answers to explain why I was feeling the way I was, and then finally, they were beginning to pay attention now that I had optic neuritis.  Fast-forward two years later, and here I am still waiting, but now with patience and acceptance.

I have been lucky to have an amazing support system that surrounds me.  One woman, in particular, changed my path early on in this journey.  She asked me, “What is the gift in MS for you?”  At first, my reaction was ‘What is she thinking…this is such an ignorant question’.  But as she patiently waited for my response, my thinking quickly changed, and I realized, the gift in all of this, is that the possibility of MS has given me reason to put myself first.  This was something that I had never done in the past.  And ultimately, it has given me incredible strength.

From that day forward, I always try my best to remember what MS has given me: strength, focus, awareness of myself, and a passion to live life as it is now.  Of course, there have been many days when I have felt anger and resentful to what I have been handed, but with the ability to change my thinking and remember the positives that MS is giving me, that anger and resentment quickly fades away.  And in return, I grow stronger.

World MS Day

Written by on May 27th, 2015 –

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By: Melissa G. from The Travelling MSer

Today is World MS Day. This year, we are asked to share what makes us “stronger than MS”. For me, what makes me feel strong are the people that support me through it everyday. First and foremost, my family, who I would never have gotten through the past few years without. Supporting me through every hospital visit, every doctors appointment, and every bad day. My friends, the ones that stuck around and continued to remember that I am still the person I always was, even though I may do things a bit differently now. Also the new friends that I’ve met because of my MS, who I am so very thankful for. My boyfriend, who makes me feel like it’s okay when I’m not up to doing something we had planned on, and understands no matter what, reminding me that it’s not my fault. These people all make it so I feel like I can get through it even when I’m at my worst, and remind me that I have to fight, even when I feel like I can’t.

For them, I try every day to be #StrongerThanMS

-M

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

Meet Melissa: Star of MS My Story Videos!

Written by on April 9th, 2015 –

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! (more…)

New Treatment Experience – Day 3-5

Written by on March 24th, 2015 –

By: Chris Mann, guest blogger

Check out the videos below to see day 3 and 5 of my new MS treatment:

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New Treatment Experience – Day 1 & 2

Written by on March 17th, 2015 –

By: Chris Mann, guest blogger

Check out the videos below to see day 1 and day 2 of my new MS treatment:

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New treatment experience – Part 1

Written by on March 13th, 2015 – 9 Comments

By: Chris Mann, guest blogger

Hi everyone,

My name is Chris Mann.  I’m 35 and live in Victoria, BC.  I was diagnosed with RRMS in April of 2013 and had a very aggressive start to life with MS!  Hence I am starting treatment with Lemtrada March 9th and have decided to video blog each day of my treatment. I hope others can learn from my experience as I’ve learned so much from others with MS. Check out my story below and stay tuned for more updates to come:

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Join me for Mandarin MS Walk 2015!

Written by on March 4th, 2015 –

By: Andrea Mears, Guest Blogger

With the Mandarin MS Walk season quickly approaching, I wanted to share a little bit about my walk experience last year! My name is Andrea and I’m 24 years old. After being diagnosed with MS in December of 2013, I decided to create a team for the Mandarin MS Walk so my friends and family could come together to support the MS Society. Being diagnosed with MS has changed the way I value things in life, specifically my health and wellness. There are difficulties I face on a daily basis that may not be visible to others. Despite the negative impacts MS has on my life, it has taught me about personal strength and resilience the way no other experience has before.

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