“Doctors first suggested Multiple Sclerosis when I was 21, but I was officially diagnosed with Secondary Progressive MS in 2003 when I was 27. My children were five and two at the time.
I am a full-time wheelchair user; I can stand a little but mostly rely on my upper body strength for daily tasks.
While I have battled depression, I use humour a lot, not so much as a crutch or a coping mechanism, but because it's who I am. Having MS doesn't define me, but it is part of me. I'd rather use the energy I do have, for people who mean the most to me, my dog, and the things I enjoy doing, rather than battle something I can't control. My mantra has been acceptance and adaption. Having goals and things I want to achieve is important. I won't let my diagnosis take them from me. My goals may need tweaking to accomplish, but with the right support crew behind me, I can do it.
MS West Coast has given me opportunities to learn more about living with MS and helped me to retain my independence to be a mother to my children. Their support means knowing I am not alone in this, that there are other people I can relate to. I feel blessed and I am grateful for the invaluable support and information which is individually tailored to my needs by the Field Worker."
Donate today, so we can continue to support those with Multiple Sclerosis across our region, ensuring they feel advised, supported, and included within their local communities.
Multiple Sclerosis West Coast supports and educates every member of our society through regular home visits from our Registered Nurse. Our nurse has the experience and knowledge to be able to assess each individual and their needs. Assisting with appropriate access to health care and social supports for them to be able to live their ‘best life’. We also strive to reduce the isolation of our members by running support groups in each of the main towns across the West Coast, encouraging members to also support those close to them in the community.
Over the years our society has grown, now helping over 100 people living in our community with neurological disorders. MS West Coast is well known because of our annual Craft Fair fundraiser and the work we do to support people has also grown. We help our local community by supporting the elderly and those living with a disability.
The West Coast is a unique region, covering the largest geographical area and being the most sparsely populated. Our running costs e.g. fuel and vehicles, are higher than most due to the immense area we cover. MS West Coast also has the second highest rates of MS and Parkinson's in the country, so we have large member numbers, despite the low population. The West Coast is also a lower socio economic region and with COVID adding to tourism decline, we are struggling to obtain enough funding to continue to do what we do.
Community Advisor Services
Phone: 03 768 7007
Address: 26 Mackay Street, Greymouth, 7805