“My diagnosis came in December 2015, when I was 17, so I have had Multiple Sclerosis for nearly five years.

Day-to-day, I experience many symptoms, including fatigue, balance issues, and altered sensation such as numbness and tingling. Growing up, I played and competed in many sports. Since my diagnosis with MS, I have adapted my old workouts to match my level of fitness to how my body feels on that specific day.

MS Auckland helped me realise the significant impact of daily exercise and mindfulness meditation on my physical and mental well-being. These strategies help me cope with stress and anxiety when studying full-time. At my diagnosis, I was hesitant to meet others with MS and I felt isolated. It was my mum who reached out to MS Auckland and began attending the support groups and kept in contact with the community advisors. This support was educational for my mum and provided a lot of perspective and empathy towards my decisions about my health. It created room for more open communication between us. After a while, I made a friend with MS who attended a support group and who wasn’t my mum! With her encouragement, making new friends and by participating, I have become actively involved in MS Auckland, and they are training me to be a peer support worker. I am really enjoying the voluntary work as it gives me an opportunity to make lifelong friends and learn about Multiple Sclerosis.”

“The support I get from MS Auckland is essential and fulfilling. Not only do I look forward to the future, but I also look forward to the new information, ideas, and people it has brought into my life! It is great knowing I am part of something bigger than myself and there is a whole community of people and wonderful community advisors.

Your support for MS Auckland provides a vital service for me, and others like me, living with MS and for those around us, like my mum. The Peer Support Programme can help more people like myself get trained to become peer support workers and be even more engaged in the community. It is crucial for newly diagnosed people with MS to get support so we can come to terms with our illness and how to move forward with it. While there is no cure for MS yet, your donation can help me, and others with MS, manage our MS and live our best lives possible.”