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National MS awareness campaign launched with help from Enfield woman

Terri-Louise was misdiagnosed five times before finally discovering she had MS

Terri-Louise Brown (credit Ralu Chase Photography)
Terri-Louise Brown (credit Ralu Chase Photography)

An Enfield resident living with multiple sclerosis (MS) is supporting a new national campaign to mark the start of MS Awareness Week today (Monday 24th).

Over 130,000 people live with MS in the UK, including an estimated 17,000 people in London, and around 630 in Enfield. The condition damages nerves in the body and makes it harder to do everyday things, like walk, talk, eat and think. A common misconception is MS affects everyone in the same way. But in reality, it is unpredictable and different for everyone.

Terri-Louise Brown, 35, was diagnosed with relapsing MS in 2016. She’s joined the MS Society, MS Trust, Overcoming MS, MS Together, Shift.ms, MS-UK and MS National Therapy Centres to highlight the varying realities of living with MS to help better the general public’s understanding.

Throughout the week, the charities will be encouraging people to use the hashtag #MSMakesMe to share how MS makes them feel. For some, MS might make them feel anxious or scared, while others might feel strong or positive. They want everyone affected by the condition, including family and friends, to highlight the hugely diverse impact it can have on mental wellbeing.

Terri-Louise was misdiagnosed five times before finally discovering she had MS. The main symptom she experiences on a day-to-day basis is pain. Terri-Louise’s brother, Dan, also lives with the condition. She says: “When I was first diagnosed with MS I went through five stages of grief very early, and got through the other side. I’ve had to do the work to get to where I am now, and it hasn’t always been easy. I had my son, so I had a reason to keep on going. MS makes me resilient.


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“Now, if I want something I go for it. If I didn’t have MS, I would have never applied for my current job. MS has made me push more boundaries. It makes me want to speak up and not stay quiet.”

Since being diagnosed, Terri-Louise has founded her own organisation Talks With MS. She explains: “Six years ago, starting a charity was never on my list of things to do. But here I am! We’re one of about two black-led MS registered charities in the UK.

“I enjoy speaking out about MS, and I’m driven on my brother. He’s the reason I set up Talks With MS. My brother now pretty much just has his hearing. Aside from that, he isn’t able to function. I wish he had that same support that I do and the same community that I’ve created when he was first diagnosed.”

The seven charities worked closely with members of the MS community – including Terri-Louise – to develop #MSMakesMe. It is the first time ever the charities have come together to raise awareness and understanding of MS. By joining forces, they hope to help those struggling by directing them to the vast range of services and support on offer.

Nick Moberly, chief executive at the MS Society, says: “We’re so proud to have come together with six other amazing MS charities to launch #MSMakesMe. This campaign has been shaped by insights from the MS community, and we’re incredibly grateful to Terri-Louise for playing a crucial role by sharing her story.

“We know that MS can be painful and relentless, but it can also be hopeful and transformative for some people. Through #MSMakesMe we want to show that no two people’s MS is the same and that it can impact everyone differently. Most importantly, we hope this will open up conversations about the reality of living with a chronic condition and signpost people to the support us, and the other charities offer. Our free MS helpline is available to anyone affected by MS and we urge people living with MS in London to find out what support is available locally by visiting our websites.”


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