FORMER Dundalk Institute of Technology student Debbie Mohan is advising those who are facing a recent diagnosis of Mulitple Sclerosis (MS) to focus on the positives in a bid to raise awareness about the disease.
The 42-year-old Social Care graduate told The Dundalk Democrat that those who are newly diagnosed with the disabling neurological condition should “not panic” as it is still possible to lead a fulfilling life.
“You have to focus on what you can do and not on what you can’t do. I can’t drive anymore but there is so much I can do. MS has given me some positive things including an appreciation of life,” said Debbie.
The mother-of-one said she was “terrified” when she was first diagnosed with MS in 1999, aged just 29, after she began suffering from sight difficulties. She is now registered blind but still has a level of vision.
“I have relapse and remitting MS so I go into remission. I have transient symptoms which can be debilitating. It’s very hard to work as I have good days and bad days,” she said.
“I tried loads of different treatments in the beginning. I came off the drugs at one point because I was doing so well but then I had a bad relapse and I had to give up my job as an outreach worker with The Samaritans.
“I found it difficult not being able to drive but as I said I try to focus on what I can do and not on what I can’t. I’m not in a wheelchair. I do use a stick occasionally but overall I’m very lucky.”
World MS Day took place on Wednesday, May 29 to raise funds locally for vital services.