A SOLIHULL woman has spoken about her struggles with multiple sclerosis (MS) as part of a national campaign.
Hannah Connor has joined the MS Society, MS Trust, Overcoming MS, MS Together, Shift.ms, MS-UK and MS National Therapy Centres to highlight the varying realities of living with MS to help better the general public’s understanding to mark MS Awareness Week from April 24 to 30.
Throughout the week, the charities will be encouraging people to use the hashtag #MSMakesMe to share how MS makes them feel.
Hannah was diagnosed with relapsing MS in 2020.
The 33-year-old’s symptoms include vision and sensory issues, numbness, fatigue and walking has become more difficult due to heaviness in her legs and back.
Hannah said: “When I first got diagnosed I was devastated. It was a total shock. I didn’t know anything about MS and it still makes me upset to talk about it now.
“I sometimes mourn for the life I had before MS, but I try not to think like that all the time and be as positive as possible, as this is something I have for the rest of my life.
“MS makes me feel different day to day – my feelings around it fluctuate.
“The biggest impact that MS has had on me is that it’s made me less independent. And as a result my confidence is quite low. I make lots of plans when I’m feeling good but due how unpredictable MS can be, my MS symptoms can flare up and I have to cancel my plans.”
Hannah works as a team leader for an administration team at Ernst and Young and she has attributed her condition to making her a better team leader as she says it has made her more open minded and empathetic.
The seven charities worked closely with members of the MS community to develop #MSMakesMe.
It is the first time ever the charities have come together to raise awareness and understanding of MS. By joining forces, they hope to help those struggling by directing them to the vast range of services and support on offer.
Amy Thompson, founder of MS Together, says: “MS is still widely misunderstood and we hope that #MSMakesMe will raise awareness of the difficulties and realities of living with the condition. We are hoping that this campaign will also signpost people to the varied support that each charity provides. We urge people living with MS in the West Midlands to find out what support is available locally by visiting our websites.”
Over 130,000 people live with multiple sclerosis (MS) in the UK, including an estimated 11,310 people in the West Midlands.