Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, is encouraging constituents with MS to share their coming out story to help break the silence and support others struggling to share their diagnosis. MS Awareness Week 2021 is running from 19 to 25 April, and is an important opportunity to spread the word about Multiple Sclerosis and raise awareness of the disease. This year’s theme is ‘Let’s Talk MS’.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that affects your brain and spinal cord. In MS, the coating that protects your nerves (myelin) is damaged. This causes a range of symptoms like blurred vision and problems with how we move, think and feel.
Once diagnosed, MS stays with you for life, but treatments and specialists can help you to manage the condition and its symptoms.
More than 130,000 people in the UK have MS. In the UK people are most likely to find out they have MS in their thirties, forties and fifties. But the first signs of MS often start years earlier. Many people notice their first symptoms years before they get their diagnosis.
The MS Society has a range of tools on their website to help people build their confidence if they are struggling with how to open up about their diagnosis. They also offer resources for friends, partners and family members to find out more about the disease and how they can best support a loved one with MS.
Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, said:
“It can be really challenging speaking about an MS diagnosis, whether it’s opening up to friends and family or trying to describe symptoms to your employer. Often it can feel easier to say nothing at all, but there is support out there to make opening up easier.
“This MS Awareness Week, the MS Society are raising awareness of the challenges surrounding coming out with MS, and are sharing stories of how others found their voice to help those struggling with speaking up about a diagnosis.
“You can also find more information on how the MS society can support you in talking about your MS diagnosis and how you can stay connected in lockdown on their website. Talking about MS is hard, but you don’t need to do it alone.”
Find out more about MS Awareness Week and the resources offered by MS Society here: https://www.mssociety.org.uk/get-involved/ms-awareness-week