A woman has spoken out about being diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis) at just 27. In 2017, Laura Marsden’s life changed forever but she is determined to raise awareness about the condition.
The now 31-year-old has just been appointed as a national charity trustee for MS-UK. After receiving great support from the national charity she wanted to give something back and help support others, Grimsby Live reports.
Laura was in a bad place when she first fell ill with the lifelong condition. She said: “I hadn’t even heard of multiple sclerosis at the time, so the process of diagnosis was a total shock.
“Up until I woke up one day and couldn’t walk or see properly, I felt I was a healthy and happy person. I had a rollercoaster of emotions and a huge feeling of uncertainty. Would I end up in a wheelchair?
“Could I have the future I had hoped for? I’ve always been an optimist, but I found my diagnosis made me afraid to think about the future, which at 27 was a real shock when I felt I should have had my best years in front of me.”
Laura, who works in HR for a manufacturing company, turned to counselling to help her cope. She said: “The counselling provided by the charity MS-UK helped me to accept my diagnosis and learn to live in the now.
“The truth is, the future is uncertain for everyone, but the counselling helped me navigate my emotions towards this and gave me tools to cope with the uncertainty and focus on what I can control.” Thankfully, today Laura is in a much better place, both mentally and physically.
“Since my first relapse, I have made a great recovery and remained stable since. I will have a scan in August that will determine if my MS is in remission, and long may that continue.
“In terms of my main symptoms from that first relapse, my sight and walking returned pretty quickly, however, I have numbness in my left hand and arm and struggle with fatigue but do my best to manage these. Since my diagnosis, I have taken up running to help me manage my symptoms and with the support of my friends that I made at the local running club, Walk Jog Run, I ran London Marathon last year raising money for MS charities.”
Laura will now sit proudly on a board of nine other trustees for MS-UK, helping to steer their work and ensure it stays in line with its mission to do good. She said: “The support MS charities have given me since diagnosis has motivated me to give back in any way I can, so I am grateful to have that opportunity by being a trustee for MS-UK.”
To find out more about MS-UK, visit ms-uk.org or call the helpline Monday to Friday 10am-4pm on 0800 783 0518.