Coming hot on the heels of MS Awareness Week, today is World MS Day.
The aim of today is as simple as it sounds. People from around the world, who are living with or have some experience of, Multiple Sclerosis, are trying to get the word out about what exactly MS is.
It's a tall enough order. Research suggests that there is a low public awareness of the illness, and as such, those of us who live with MS every day can be faced with ignorance and contempt when out and about.
So, for today, World MS Day aims to educate and inform, mainly the following three basic key messages:
1) There is no known cause or cure for MS
2) MS symptoms usually start between the ages of 25 and 31 and can last a lifetime
3) MS symptoms vary from person to person and from time to time
It is a great initiative and I hope it works.
Today alone I am coping with weak, painful legs, using a walking stick, a dead arm, funny sensations in my hands, the usual bladder problems and the prospect of another round of steroids.
It's fair to say that my family, friends and colleagues know what MS can do to someone like me, a young woman who looks happy and healthy. It's getting others to see past my appearance that will take time.
Happy World MS Day :)