Shabana Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Ladywood, is encouraging constituents with MS to share their coming out story to help break the silence and support others struggling to talk about their diagnosis. MS Awareness Week 2021 is running from 19 to 25 April, and is an important opportunity to spread the word about Multiple Sclerosis and raise awareness of the disease. This year’s theme is ‘Let’s Talk MS’.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that affects your brain and spinal cord. In MS, the coating that protects your nerves (myelin) is damaged. This causes a range of symptoms like blurred vision and problems with how we move think and feel.
Once diagnosed, MS stays with you for life, but treatments and specialists can help you to manage the condition and its symptoms.
More than 130,000 people in the UK have MS. In the UK people are most likely to find out they have MS in their thirties, forties and fifties. But the first signs of MS often start years earlier. Many people notice their first symptoms years before they get their diagnosis.
The MS Society has a range of tools on their website to help people build their confidence if they are struggling with how to open up about a diagnosis, and also offer resources for friends, partners and family members to find out more about the disease and how they can best support a loved one with MS.
Shabana Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Ladywood, said:
“Living with MS is tough, and it can be really challenging finding the words to open up to a family member friend or employer about a new diagnosis. For many people saying nothing at all can feel easier, but there is lots of support out there to help you build your confidence.
“The MS Society are raising awareness of the challenges surrounding coming out with MS by encouraging people to share their stories and break the silence around how it feels talking about living with the disease.
“There are also lots of great resources on the MS Society website that you can share with family and friends to help them understand more about the disease and how they can best support you. Talking about MS is hard, but you don’t need to do it alone.”
- Find out more about MS Awareness Week and the resources offered by MS Society here: https://www.mssociety.org.uk/get-involved/ms-awareness-week