Multiple Sclerosis doesn’t have one face.
It has many faces.
In fact, in New Zealand, it has 4000 faces, and 2.8 million worldwide.
Did you know that Multiple Sclerosis is the leading cause of non-traumatic disability among young and middle-aged adults in many developed countries? In New Zealand the average age of diagnosis is 38 and people are usually diagnosed between 20 and 50, prime time for careers, families and building a future.
You might look at a person with Multiple Sclerosis and think “But you look fine. You don’t look sick." But what you don’t see are the daily struggles, the overwhelming fatigue making daily tasks impossible, the chronic pain, the blurred vision, the spasticity or inability to lift your own hand.
One of the most difficult parts of Multiple Sclerosis is living with the unseen symptoms.
Every day is different for a person with MS.
Symptoms can come and go, they might go through periods of relapse and recovery, or they can get progressively worse over time. Multiple Sclerosis is a highly complex condition and affects everyone differently. Due to this, Multiple Sclerosis is still relatively unknown and misunderstood.
Multiple Sclerosis organisations across the country are working hard to support those diagnosed and their loved ones to live well with MS.
MS is a chronic and life-changing condition BUT with access to support, early diagnosis, treatment and lifestyle modifications people with MS can live long, happy and fulfilled lives.
Living well with MS is possible but they need your support!
Please consider donating today to your local MS Society and helping to provide on-going community-based support for your Face of MS, and others like them. Or support Multiple Sclerosis New Zealand advocating for changes to improve the lives of people with MS nationally.
With your support people with MS can thrive, be given the tools to empower their own lives, be their own advocates, continue in employment, support their families, and achieve their dreams.
Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms
In multiple sclerosis, damage to the myelin in the central nervous system (CNS), and to the nerve fibers themselves, interferes with the transmission of nerve signals between the brain and spinal cord and other parts of the body. This disruption of nerve signals produces the primary symptoms of MS, which vary depending on where the damage has occurred. Over the course of the disease, some symptoms will come and go, while others may be more lasting.
Some symptoms of MS are much more common than others but can include:
- Bladder & bowel disfunction
- Sexuality & Intimacy
- Speech & Swallowing
- Thinking & Memory
- Your Emotions