World MS Day is coming up again, on 25 May, offering the opportunity to raise awareness on Multiple Sclerosis and the people battling with – scratch that, better to say living with – the disease.
Each year there is a theme on which events around the world are anchored, and this year’s theme is #StrongerthanMS. The aim is to show the world that people with MS are anything but weak, and their lives are anything but simple and far from over because of their condition. To show how they may have MS, but can also be productive members of society – athletes, musicians, educators, professionals, adventurers, you name it. In fact, the list of celebrities with MS – many of which most people had no idea they were diagnosed with MS – is long, and here is just a few of them for your reference.
My goal, on a personal level, will be exactly that. To explain and to demonstrate to my friends and family that despite the sudden (and uninvited) onset of MS on my life almost a decade ago, I remain active and productive. (Although I am not, nor should I be, constrained to doing this on just one day – or week – a year. This is a year-round endeavour)
But the best way to raise awareness is to tell people to go out and read about MS themselves, and perhaps come back and ask you about it so they can get an idea of what living with MS is like for at least one person out there (do not forget the theme of the 2012 World MS Day – that MS is the disease of 1000 faces).
So, please, go and read about MS. Google it. Follow #StrongerthanMS on social media. Attend one of the World MS Day events near you. Talk to people with MS. Ask your doctor about it. And do not get sucked in by stories of people with MS that can do amazing things – not all of us are like that or capable of such activities. Instead, what you should be getting out of those stories is that people with MS are still capable of great things. Not superhumans, but just like everyone else and unique just like any other human being. Good at doing some things (that others can not do), not so good at doing other things (that others may take for granted).
Funny story, I wanted to break with my rules yet again and publish five posts in the span of five days. However, I was struck with “writer’s block” (although I do not claim to be a writer). So, in the end watching the Simpsons won, and I am posting my first story on the 23rd, and possibly the second on the 25th.