Every year more than 600 people are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It is a diagnosis that often hits people extremely hard. It can also be at times, devastating. No doubt, this disease presents a challenge that can feel for some, at times, unsurmountable.
It was fourteen years ago when Susan had to face this stark reality. She was working at Woolworths and was looking forward to starting a family with the love of her life, Tim. However, the reality of her health situation somewhat changed this course.
Susan has always been known to be full of life, infectious laughter and joy for life. It did not take her long to evaluate how she could best face this new challenge, with the help of her family, friends and MS (Multiple Sclerosis Limited).
As the disease progressed, she had to abandon her job at Woolworths. However, she was determined to continue to be ‘independent and useful’. As well as her dream of a family. This came through in 2009 when Rowan, her son, was born.
Susan was on a courageous and determined path. She dedicated herself to learn more about MS and how she could help others in a similar situation to herself. “I find that in life if you help others you get much more returned to you.” Thus, Susan became a proud MS Peer Support Volunteer.
Having recently completed an 8-week course: Women with a Disability, she is looking forward to doing a “Certificate III in Community Care”.
Nowadays Susan must rely 80% of her time on the use of a wheelchair, as her physical ability is limited. ‘However, I can use my voice to help others and with the training I am doing, I should be able to further this help.”
Susan tells us that she has benefitted from many of the services that MS provides. She has accessed expert advice and support for herself and her family. Additionally, the opportunity that MS offers to help others is something that empowers her and keeps her strong.
“I don’t feel alone… I know MS and my family are behind me all the way.”
Susan is indefatigable: she has instigated local events and has participated in many others. Events such as the famous Melbourne Walk Fun Run to the Melbourne Cycle, the Mega Swim and Gift Wrapping.
“I used to be an ‘MS Angel” too for the MS Readathon, so I was delighted when I was able to support its re-launch last year.”
“I have an extremely supportive group of family (especially my husband Tim and my son Rowan) and many dear friends that come from afar to participate in fundraising activities with me. They are my rock.
My family and I have attended a couple of MS family camps. This is the kind of support that makes a great difference to our lives.
Some time ago I decided to leave a legacy of love in my Will to Multiple Sclerosis Limited.
I wanted to be part of the future of MS and contribute so they will have the resources to continue to help and support people with MS. I believe it is very important that ‘no one has to face MS alone, now or in the future’.
I am thrilled that I am giving my money to a worthy cause and leaving a legacy that will help others with MS. This was a very easy decision as it is one more way that I can be useful and give back to my community.
I would encourage others to do so. I personally believe in doing what you can to help others. It is my life quest to provide support where I can especially in relation to MS which is a life changing illness.”