What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition of the central nervous system that interfers with nerve impulses within the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. It is characterised by sclerosis, a Greek word meaning scars.
As the myelin breaks down during a MS attack, patches of nerves become exposed and then scarred, which render the nerves unable to commuicate messages properly. This means that the brain cannot talk to other parts of the body, resulting in a range of symptoms that can include a loss of motor function (e.g. walking and hand and arm function), loss of sensation, pain, vision changes and changes to thinking and memory.
MS currently affects over 23,000 in Australia and more than two million people worldwide. Most are diagnosed between the ages of 20-40, but it can affect younger and older people too. Roughly three times as many women have MS as men.
The cause of MS is unknown, but many genetic and environmental factors have been shown to contribute to its development. There is currently no cure for MS, however there are a number of treatment options available to help manage symptoms and slow progression of the disease.
Why we support MS Research
My younger sister was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, as a new Mum, in 2013. For 3 years she put up with daily pain, fatigue, numbness, weakness, balance & vision problems. She experienced horrible sensations like bugs crawling on her skin & electric shocks down her spine. Anna had always been known for her energy and optimism but openly admits that life with MS brought a struggle with depression and anxiety.
Anna spent 3 years trialling medications that varied in their effectiveness and were not without some pretty unpleasant side effects. With none of these drugs promising 100% protection, Anna often described herself as a 'sitting duck' and lived in constant fear of her next attack.
In August 2016, after months of research and plenty of soul searching, Anna travelled to Mexico to undergo a Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. HSCT is intrusive, expensive and has many high risk steps but if successful, would mean no more injections and no need for medication. So far so good. Since returning home Anna's MS has remained stable, there have been no new lesions and as an added bonus, her symptoms have all but disappeared. As incredible as this is, we are painfully aware that this treatment offers no guarentees.
And that is why we continue to support MS Research. We desperately want to create a future without MS. We are thankful that HSCT has given us time, but we need a cure.
How you can help
Every May we conduct a Bunnings sausage sizzle as our major fundraiser for Kiss Goodbye to MS. We are always looking for volunteers so if you would like to spend a couple of hours with us one weekend, cooking sausages for a wonderful cause, please get in touch. Alternatively, if you are able to donate goods i.e. drinks, sauce or serviettes, we would love to hear from you!
If you are looking for a 'feel good' purchase, please head over to our store at www.inkpi.org and get yourself a new tank, tee or hoodie. We proudly donate 50% of our proceeds to Kiss Goodbye to MS.
Finally, you can hit that 'donate' button and put your hard earned cash to good use. With every cent going straight to MS Research Australia (and a tax deductible receipt given for your troubles) you are guarenteed good karma simply by parting with a couple of dollars.
Thank you so much for your support, it means the world!