Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative condition that affects the Central Nervous System. The body’s own immune system appears to attack the protective sheath of fatty protein, called myelin, which surrounds the nerves in the brain, spinal cord and the optic nerve. An attack results in inflammation and development of one or more lesions, resulting in scarring or sclerotic plaques, forming on the nerves. These lesions interfere with the nerve messages sent back and forward through the brain, and spinal cord.
Every person diagnosed with MS will experience it slightly differently, depending on the location, size and number of lesions formed, and the type of MS. For some, sensations are altered while others experience difficulty with muscle strength and movement. Lesions in the brain can affect a person’s capacity to process information, and affects their emotions.
Who can get MS? Absolutely anyone, it makes know difference who you are, you can just get it.
It is disease that we are slowly learning to understand and at this time have no known cure but by hell there are a lot of really good people working on it all the time. The signs of progress to a cure continue to improve but still the journey continues with no horizon for the answer.
My Journey of understanding started many years ago now, and at the time I new little or nothing about the disease. Vaguely new that Football personality Stan Wickham had it but had no idea what the disease was. That day so many years ago led me on a path where suddenly around me were good friends, workmates and so many acquaintances that had or were being affected by MS. There was no discrimination of whom or where and more importantly there was no answer to the question WHY?
I was involved with the board of MS SA and NT Division and very privileged to be part of the inaugural MS Australia Board and my learning curve was huge. Then there it was MS was part of my family life and the journey got personal. Yes MS is a dirty word.
Enough. What can you, what can we do about it? People with MS want a cure, in the words of a well known meerkat - "Simples".
You can get dirty for MS - The Bernie Lewis MS Mud Run is on again on the 1st December at the Urrbrae Agricultural College, 505 Fullarton Road Netherby SA. Get a team together - register BEFORE 29th November. If you are running as a team or just with friends, make your booking at the same time for everyone if you want to be sure you are allocated to the same wave of runners as your team or friends. You can run as a family so that Mum and Dad can help the kids over,under or through the obstacles - you know what the say - the Family that gets dirty together - well actually what do they say?
There is also the run for the seriously competitive obstacle course athletes who need to know the time and their place in the field. Registering in this group will see you "chipped" so that times can be recorded.
There is also the opportunity to dob in the Boss and have him or her run in the Big Cheese race as well.
The opportunity to help out doesn't stop there. Like any event for such a good cause it needs Volunteers - around 300 of them actually. So if getting really dirty doesn't appeal you can help out in so many roles on the day.
How do you do this? Well get on line to the website www.msmudrun.com.au and do your bit to help out with the never ending fundraising that is required to help out with providing services to people with MS and of course the journey to finding the cure.
Listen here to an interview I did with Renee Meredith the Communications Coordinator at MS SA and NT Division it fills in some of the Gaps
The most important thing is do your bit to help out by getting dirty for MS. If that doesn't appeal well just dig deep and make a donation at http://www.ms.asn.au/donatenow.html
You never know it might be the best thing you could do right now.