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In June, 2017, our beautiful and brave daughter, Minty, was diagnosed with MS just three days before her wedding. In her words she went 'from being a healthy person, to being very unwell, to trying to find a new balance in her life' in the blink of an eye.
As she says those two words, Multiple Sclerosis, were totally and utterly shocking and devastating and transformed her view not only of the life she had envisioned, but also her view of herself. She has been plagued by guilt and doubt, quite unnecessarily her family and friends would tell her, but they are all part of the enormous and unspoken consequences of receiving a life-altering diagnosis. Guilt for her fiancé, now husband, the amazing Dave, guilt for her family, guilt for her work colleagues, that she is somehow letting us all down and is somehow at fault. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth but it is a painful and stark reminder of how this condition affects every part of your life, physically and mentally.
Things which most of us take for granted now have to be planned and some are simply no longer possible. But through all of this, Minty's spirit, determination and slightly combative approach to life (she might not thank me for that!) have shone through and she is developing a 'healthier outlook' and is determined to do something to affect change for those diagnosed with MS. She is already, and I am sure she will continue, succeeding triumphantly.
For a parent, it is truly heartbreaking not being able to make it better; knowing that no kiss, cuddle, sticking plaster or banana medicine (as amoxicillin was known in our house) will make her better. All we can do is to try and hasten a cure through supporting the incredible efforts of those working to find one (and they are making great progress). So I promised to do something big for her and I think cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats qualifies so here I go!
To read Minty's story, please see here:
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